Blaine, Minnesota, Police Officers Brad Nordby and Brandon Fettig were responding to an alarm call Nov. 7, 2015 when they found an idling car in a parking lot. The driver, who was sitting behind the wheel, appeared to have passed out (video below).
The officers tried several times to wake the driver, and tried to convince him to open the car door, notes KARE 11.
“Oh, great, his penis is out of his pants,” Nordby told Fettig.
The driver revved the engine for several minutes but eventually did exit his car. He then failed a field sobriety test.
According to police, the driver's breathalyzer test was .202, which is more than two and a half times the lawful limit.
The driver, identified as William Monberg, was told by Nordby that he was being arrested for DWI. Nordby handcuffed Monberg and put him in the back of a squad car.
The case took a turn when Norby and Fettig checked Monberg’s wallet and discovered that he was a cop with the Columbia Heights Police Department.
The officers turned off their body microphones and stepped outside the range of the squad car dash cams.
However, a camera in the back of a squad car filmed Monberg being released, no longer handcuffed.
Instead of taking Monberg to jail, the officers arranged a ride home.
“I don’t condone their behavior,” Duane Wolfe, a retired officer and law enforcement instructor, told the news station. “I wish they’d made a different decision, but cops are human.”
“Like I said, a lot of police officers feel that pressure to take care of their brethren,” Wolfe added.
Wolfe wrote about the "professional courtesy" of cops allowing other cops to break the law on PoliceOne.com in 2009:
Some would say an officer letting another officer go is 'professional courtesy.' My definition differs. To me 'professional courtesy' means that when you are in my jurisdiction you conduct yourself so that your behavior doesn’t require that I come into contact with you. You act like a professional and show me courtesy by not placing me in the position of having to deal with you. In return I do the same for you.
“That doesn’t serve the profession, that doesn’t serve the department and, quite honestly, it doesn’t serve the officer," Wolfe told KARE 11. “They just get the attitude that there are no consequences for their actions.”
Monberg was not taken into custody, didn't have a mugshot taken and didn't have his car towed. No police report was filed, and Monberg was told by the officers that the incident had not been entered into the police department’s computer system.
However, the cover-up failed when Blaine Police Chief Chris Olson decided to have an investigator check into the incident. As a result of the investigation, Monberg was charged with a DWI in December 2015.
Olson told KARE 11 in a statement, “In this case inexperienced officers made a mistake. It’s not acceptable. My expectation is fair and impartial policing and that didn’t happen. We need to treat people fairly and it shouldn’t matter what they do for a living.”
Monberg pleaded not guilty to DWI charges; his case goes to court March 2. He was suspended for 30 days by the Columbia Heights Police Department after his first court date in January.
Monberg said in a statement to the TV station: "I am profoundly ashamed, embarrassed, and disappointed in myself for the incident that occurred on November 7, 2015. I extend my most genuine apologies to my agency and community, the Blaine Police Department, and the officers who were placed in an incredibly difficult position because of my actions."
"I accept full responsibility for those actions but insist they do not represent an accurate reflection of my personal or professional character. I have been working diligently over the past four months to ensure that a similar situation will not occur again".
It is not clear why Monberg is regretting or apologizing for his actions, given his not guilty plea.