Officer Has Another Brush With The Law

Tuesday, December 4th 2007, 9:25 pm
By: News On 6

Federal investigators are setting their sights on a sharpshooter with the Tulsa Police Department. A Tulsa Police veteran has been suspended with pay following a criminal investigation by the federal bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Sources tell the News On 6, Buddy Visser is under investigation for selling police guns online. The News On 6’s Ashli Sims reports this is not Visser's first brush with the wrong side of the law.

Officer Buddy Visser has served with the Tulsa Police Department for 17 years. His career almost came to an end seven years ago, when he was fired, accused of excessive force, during an off-duty traffic stop.

"They want to go out in a blaze of glory. It's because of people like that that keeps us here," said Buddy Visser in 2000.

He was talking about his job as a member of Tulsa Police's Special Operations team. Visser has worked as a sharpshooter and on TPD's gun range. Shortly after the story first aired in 2000, Visser was accused of inappropriately drawing his gun on a Mounds family.

It was April of 2000, court records say Debra Miller and her three children were driving home, when they were stopped by the Buddy and Lori Visser. Both cops were off duty and in their private vehicles.

A complaint filed by the Millers claims the two officers blocked their car, yanked Debra's 16-year-old son, Bradley, out of the car by his hair and held them at gun-point. It goes on to say the Millers were "cursed, intimidated, harassed, and threatened with death" for an hour, before they were let go.

At the time, the Vissers claimed they responded the way they did because someone from the Miller's car threw a rock at Lori's car.

The complaint led to Chief Ron Palmer firing Buddy and Lori Visser for excessive force in July of 2000. The Vissers fought their terminations and were reinstated about a year later, but that didn't end the Visser's legal troubles. They were sued by the Miller family in federal court.

In May of 2002, a federal jury found in the Miller's favor and ordered the Vissers to pay the family $150,000 in punitive damages. Two months later, the Visser's filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

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