City of Tulsa sued over incident involving family and former Tulsa police officers

Monday, October 9th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A Green Country family is speaking out for the first time after filing a lawsuit last week against two former Tulsa police officers. They say the officers terrorized them at gunpoint in a fit of road rage. They told their story exclusively to News on Six Crime Reporter Lori Fullbright.

Roger Miller and his daughter Debbie, say they can still hardly believe what happened. "If it can happen to us, it can happen to anyone," he said. Miller’s daughter says she was on her way home with four kids in her car on April 7th, when Buddy and Lori Visser forced her to pull over and blocked her car with their car. She didn't know if the drivers were experiencing road rage or were carjackers --until they identified themselves as Tulsa Police officers. "He stepped out of the truck with his gun already pointed at the window and said, ‘Get out,’” Miller recalled. “I thought I was going to die, then and there, because I couldn't get my door open. He said, ‘I'm going to shoot you if you don't get out.’"

Miller says she managed to unlock her door, and get out of the car. She says Visser yelled, cursed, and threatened her. He grabbed her son from the front seat, put a gun to his head and threatened him as well. She says the entire experience lasted about an hour. "I could see my daughter, and my son's girlfriend saying prayers that Brad wouldn't move and upset the officer more,” Miller said. “I believe in my heart that's the reason why nobody got hurt or died out there."

The Vissers said they believed someone in the Miller’s car had thrown a rock at their window. The pair were fired from the Tulsa Police Department over the incident. The Millers are suing the City of Tulsa over the incident. The family says they don't relish the attention. They aren't concerned about the cash. They just want the city of Tulsa to learn, and make sure that police officers can’t do this to innocent citizens. "I would prefer to function as a normal, middle-class family,” said Miller’s father. “To go through life, doing our thing, not dealing with lawsuits or sitting here with the media talking about these things. To just function, and do our thing, but this incident has definitely changed that."

The Vissers say the truth in this case will eventually come out. They add they both received numerous commendations during their time on the job as Tulsa police officers, including the department’s Medal of Valor. They say they never once had a sustained complaint against them. The Miller’s lawsuit asks for $5,000,000 in damages.