New York state trooper exposed for lying about high-speed chase that killed 11-year-old girl

Officer has denied charges of murder and manslaughter in 2020 crash

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Tuesday 03 January 2023 03:58 GMT
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A former New York state trooper falsely claimed a driver rammed his patrol car, when the officer in fact rammed the driver during a high-speed traffic chase in 2020 that lead to the death of an 11-year-old girl, according to police audio obtained by the New York Daily News.

On 22 December, 2020, ex-state police officer Christopher Baldner stopped Tristin Goods for speeding on the I-87 near Kingston.

During the stop, Mr Goods allegedly refused to provide his licence plate and registration, prompting Mr Baldner to demand he get out of the car and place him under arrest.

“Show me a law where you can arrest me for a traffic violation,” Mr Goods says, according to the audio. “Get your f***ing supervisor.”

Seconds later, the officer allegedly sprayed Mr Goods with pepper spray, a blast that went into the interior of the car where Mr Goods’s daughters and wife were sitting.

Mr Goods then sped off, saying later he feared for his and his family’s life.

The trooper followed the car in pursuit, a chase that soon reached speeds of over 100mph. Eventually, Mr Baldner rammed Mr Goods’s car twice at high speed, according to a New York State Police analysis obtained as part of a series of lawsuits against Mr Baldner.

The rammings ejected one of Mr Goods’s daughters, Monica, who wasn’t wearing a seat belt, from the car, killing her.

In the audio obtained by the Daily News, the trooper can be heard claiming it was Mr Goods who rammed his car.

“He rammed me again, Albany, 93 North, 93 North,” the officer says into his radio.

“Please help me, my baby’s dying man,” Mr Goods pleads later in the recording, once the officer caught up with his crashed car on  the side of the road. “Please. These my girls, I love them, man.’

“You f***ing hit me with the f***ing car,” Baldner says.

“I didn’t hit you,” Mr Goods replies. “I swear to God.”

The State Police told The Independent it could not comment on the incident, due to the pending criminal case.

In 2021, Mr Baldner was charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, and reckless endangerment, to which he has pleaded not guilty.

His defence has argued he tried to slam on his breaks before colliding with Mr Goods, showing that the officer’s conduct doesn’t rise to the legal level of “depraved indifference” required for the murder charge.

The officer did so “out of concern and care,” attorney Anthony Ricco said during a hearing in November.

State prosecutors, meanwhile, argue that the officer intentionally ran Mr Goods and his family off the road with little regard to the consequences, pointing to evidence Mr Baldner waited until he was less than a second away from colling with Mr Goods a second time before hitting the brakes.

“He is a trained emergency vehicle operator,” Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Gashi said in November.

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