During a DUI stop, a police captain from the Oklahoma City Police Department (OKCPD) was caught asking a police sergeant to turn off his body camera.
Sergeant Chris Skinner pulled over Captain James “Matt” French of the OKCPD’s homicide investigation team on March 12 because he thought French was driving drunk.
According to reports, Skinner stopped French around 1:30 a.m. because the captain was swerving, going too fast, and not using his turn signals.
In the video, it looks like French opens his car door before the sergeant gets there.
“Get back in your vehicle,” Sgt. Skinner says.
“I’m,” French starts to say.
“Drunk?” Skinner suggests.
During the conversation, Skinner said French’s eyes were watery and his speech slurred. The police captain tells the other officers that he is the captain and asks the officer from the same police department to turn off his body camera several times.
“I’m a captain of the police department,” French said.
“What police department?” Skinner replies.
“Oklahoma City. Turn your camera off,” the captain commands.
Even though the captain repeatedly told Skinner to turn off his camera, he never gave in.
“Sir, can I … can you turn that off?” French asked the officer again. “I’m asking you. I’m a captain at the police department.”
“I don’t care if you’re a gang banger or the President of the United States,” Skinner replies. “If I were to treat you differently than I was to treat some South Side Loco or some pedo, how does that look on me?”
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During the conversation with the police officer, Skinner kept asking French how many drinks he had that night. French eventually said he was playing poker and had had “three or maybe four beers.”
The police officer asked French if he thought it was wise to drive after drinking.
“No, but I came from four blocks [away],” French said before he began a field sobriety test.
As he struggled to maintain his balance, the captain pleaded for Skinner to “please” turn off the body camera.
“I know you are aware of our body cam policy,” Skinner replied. “You know I cannot turn off this body cam.”
“I do, but I’d like to talk to you,” French told the officer.
“I’m a sergeant, and I’ve taken an oath to uphold the law. I don’t show favoritism to anyone regardless,” the officer told French.
French: “Are you going to arrest me, sir?”
Sgt. Skinner: “Yes, I am.”
French was put in the Oklahoma County Detention Center after being arrested. A paid administrative leave was given to the captain while an internal investigation was done.
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