Details of on-duty accidents of officer Roper revealed in personnel file – ABC 6 News
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Details of on-duty accidents of officer Roper revealed in personnel file – ABC 6 News

(ABC 6 News) – A look at Minnesota State Trooper Shane Roper’s personnel file reveals the state police took little disciplinary action in connection with four seemingly preventable accidents that happened in the line of duty.

Roper was charged Wednesday, July 9, with second-degree murder, vehicular homicide and multiple counts of driving under the influence after he allegedly struck a car May 18 carrying Olivia Flores, Angelina Bartz and Katarina Bartz.

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Flores died in the crash.

The Bartz sisters were seriously injured.

Roper’s charging documents refer to four other crashes he sustained while serving as a state trooper, as well as a long history of speeding incidents.

After the accident, Flores’ family asked Minnesota authorities to investigate the “organizational failures” that led to the crash.

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ABC 6 News requested state police records regarding Roper’s driving and disciplinary record and received the officer’s personnel report the same day.

The full personnel report can be found below.

The personnel file contains four letters of reprimand, each relating to accidents that occurred between 2019 and 2023.

The letters provide detailed information about the crashes and Roper’s role, as well as information about disciplinary actions taken for violating an MSP order that prohibited “conducting … any State Patrol unit in a careless or reckless manner.”

After reviewing the document, ABC 6 News asked if Roper received additional driving training or faced any other disciplinary action not listed in the document.

“The documents provided are complete and the letter issued illustrates the corrective actions,” Minnesota State Police Superintendent Michael Lee said in an email.

Details of on-duty accidents of officer Roper revealed in personnel file – ABC 6 NewsDetails of on-duty accidents of officer Roper revealed in personnel file – ABC 6 News
From Roper’s personnel file obtained by ABC 6 News

Roper’s personnel file from Feb. 16, 2019, states that while responding to a call for assistance, Roper struck another service vehicle, resulting in damage to both vehicles and “injuries to the driver of the other vehicle.”

A letter of reprimand was placed in Roper’s personnel file. There is no record of any other disciplinary actions, and the letter states that if no further disciplinary action is taken against Roper for two years, he may request his removal.

Roper didn’t have that chance.

From Roper’s personnel file obtained by ABC 6 News

The second letter said that on May 22, 2021, Roper caused a traffic accident with another driver “while engaged in routine patrol duties.”

The second letter of reprimand shows that Roper did not respond to any calls.

With his lights and siren off, Roper drove through the intersection with a stop sign, failing to yield to a turning vehicle and striking the left rear of a car.

The second letter states that Roper stated he did not remember seeing a stop sign or any events leading up to the accident.

For the incident, Minnesota State Police suspended Roper for eight hours, his records show, and the amount was deducted from his vacation allowance.

From Roper’s personnel file obtained by ABC 6 News

According to the third letter, on Dec. 29, 2021, Roper hit a deer on a road in Dodge County while executing a protective order.

According to his records, Roper was driving on an “ice and snow covered road” with a 55 mph speed limit and was traveling at 77 mph a minute before the crash.

Records show Roper agreed to respond to a crisis call without notifying dispatch shortly before the crash.

Roper had another reprimand placed on his personnel file, but again failed to file a motion to have it removed within two years.

From Roper’s personnel file obtained by ABC 6 News

On April 10, 2023, the fourth letter of reprimand described Roper’s crash into a cable barrier on Highway 52 in Rochester.

According to the records, Roper noticed the speeding vehicle and accelerated to a high speed — more than 90 miles per hour — which triggered his patrol’s video camera.

Roper crossed all lanes of traffic to follow a vehicle to the 16th Street exit, lost control of the vehicle, left the roadway and struck a cable barrier.

The reprimand letter says Roper’s lights and siren were turned off.

He received a further 8 hours of unpaid suspension.

The records show the second set of hours was not counted towards his annual leave.

Roper remains on paid administrative leave, according to Minnesota State Police officials.

MSP PIO Lee said that in addition to the personnel notes, Roper has one open internal complaint in Iowa.

Roper’s personnel file also lists two commendations he received for actions taken while on duty — a Lifesaving Award for an incident on Dec. 18, 2021, and a Chief’s Commendation for Seat Belt Enforcement in 2021.

Roper is scheduled to appear in Olmsted County Circuit Court on May 18 on charges of murder and vehicular homicide, which he will be arraigned on Aug. 29.

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