An off-duty police captain in Oklahoma City has made national headlines after being pulled over on suspicion of DUI and asking the responding officer to turn off his body camera.
CNN reports that 55-year-old Captain James Mathew French was off duty two weeks ago when Sgt pulled him over. Christopher Skinner on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.
According to the incident report that Sgt. Skinner filed with the Oklahoma City Police Department; the officer saw French swerving and making a turn without signaling. The incident was released to the public after portions of the Sgt. Skinner’s body cam footage was redacted.
In the body cam video, French can be seen telling Sgt. Skinner that he is a captain with the Oklahoma City Police Department. Pointing at his chest, French requests that the officer turn off his body camera.
French can be seen repeating his request that Skinner turn off his body camera. Sgt. Skinner adamantly refuses French’s request.
Sgt. Skinner then asked French how much he had to drink that evening. French told the officer that he had been at a poker game and “had three or four beers,” indicating that the last had been approximately two hours before he was pulled over.
During field sobriety tests, French repeats his request that Skinner turn off the camera and repeats that he is a captain on the police force.
“I understand that, Sir,” Sargent responds, “and I am a sergeant and have taken an oath to uphold the law. I do not show favoritism to anyone, regardless. “
French was arrested and booked on charges of DUI and failure to signal an intention to turn.
According to a spokesperson with the Oklahoma City Police Department, Captain French has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation of the incident.