By Bill Carey
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City Police Department released body camera footage showing one of their own being arrested for driving under the influence and repeatedly asking the arresting officer to turn off his body camera.
Capt. James French was pulled over Sunday morning after officers observed him swerving and speeding in an unmarked, city-owned SUV, KOKH reported.
When the officer asked French if he had been drinking, French replied, “I’m a captain in the police department,” and then whispered, “Turn off your camera.” He added that he is with the Oklahoma City Police Department, “Investigations.”
The officer asked French how much he had to drink, and French again motioned to his chest and whispered, “Turn off your camera. Please. Turn off your camera.”
“I’m not turning my camera off,” the officer responded, asking French to exit the vehicle.
During various field sobriety tests, French repeatedly asked the officer to turn off his camera. “Sir, can you turn it off,” French could be heard asking the officer.
“I can’t sir,” replied the officer. “I know you’re aware of our body cam policy,” he told French. “You know I can’t turn this bodycam off.”
French was taken into custody and booked into the Oklahoma County Detention Center.
Police Chief Wade Gourley praised the responding officer for following the protocols of his body-worn camera: “The officer did exactly what he was supposed to do and handled it very professionally, in my opinion. As far as how the officer responded, he did exactly what he should have done. Our policies for our body camera, there are certain types of calls that the body cameras have to be activated, and traffic stops are one of them. So the officer said to him, you know, ‘I can’t turn off the camera.’ I can only assume why Captain French said that, but the officer did exactly what he should have done by not turning off the camera.”
SEE: Professional courtesy means not looking the other way