Body Cam Shows Officer Refusing to Be Bullied by Captain Trying to Dodge Alleged DUI - 'Turn Your Camera Off'
A police officer in Oklahoma City arrested one of his superiors earlier this week for alleged drunk driving and refused to be bullied by his demands to turn off his body camera.
KOKH-TV reported that Oklahoma City Police Department Captain James French was driving early Sunday morning when he was pulled over by another officer within the department.
Sergeant Chris Skinner pulled him over in what appeared to be the driveway of the captain’s home after he was purportedly caught driving erratically just after 1:40 a.m.
According to body camera footage, French attempted to coerce Skinner into turning the camera off. As the video clearly shows, the officer refused to comply with his captain’s request.
A clip shows a man identified by the department as French attempting to get out of his vehicle during the stop as Skinner asked him how much alcohol he had consumed that evening.
“I’m a captain of the police department,” French said as he exited the vehicle.
Skinner ordered him back into the car and responded, “What police department?”
French then stated, “Oklahoma City.”
He then whispered several requests for Skinner to “Turn your camera off,” and said, “Please.”
An incredulous Skinner responded, “I’m not turning my cameras off, you got to be kidding me.”
Once outside the vehicle, Skinner conducted a field sobriety test on the captain, who appeared unsteady on his feet.
French again begged his subordinate to “please” stop filming the interaction, to which French refused.
“I know you’re aware of our body cam policy,” Skinner said. “I don’t show favoritism to anyone.”
“I don’t care if you’re a gang banger or the president of the United States,” Skinner told French before he asked. “If I were to treat you differently like some South Side Loco or some [pedophile], how does that look on me?”
Later in the video, French asked Skinner, “Are you going to arrest me, sir?”
Skinner responded, “Yes, I am.”
French was booked into the Oklahoma County Detention Center on suspicion of DUI, but he later bonded out.
Oklahoma City Police Chief Wade Gourley spoke on the arrest and praised Skinner for how he handled himself.
“The officer did exactly as he should have and handled it, you know, very professionally, in my opinion,” Gourley said, per KOKH.
French, who has been with the department for 32 years and works in Homicide, is suspended with pay as an investigation into the incident is underway.
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