During a DUI stop, a police captain from the Oklahoma City Police Department was repeatedly filmed asking a sergeant to turn his body camera off.
Sergeant Chris Skinner pulled Captain James “Matt” French, OKCPD’s homicide investigation group, over suspicion of drunk driving on March 12.
French was stopped by Skinner at 1:30 a.m., after Captain was allegedly observed speeding and not using his turn signals.
French opens his car’s door in the video before the sergeant approaches.
“Get back into your vehicle,” Sgt. Skinner says.
French begins to say “I’m”
“Drunk?” Skinner suggests.
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Skinner stated that French’s eyes were watery and that French’s speech was slurred during this exchange. The body camera footage shows the police captain telling officers that he is the captain, and repeatedly asking the officer to turn off the body camera.
French stated, “I’m a Captain of the Police Department.”
“What police department?” Skinner responds.
“Oklahoma City. The captain orders you to turn off your camera.
Despite repeated requests from the captain, Skinner refused to give up and turned off his camera.
“Sir…can you turn that off?” French again asked the officer. French asked the officer again. “I’m a captain in the police department.”
Skinner replied, “I don’t care if your a gang banger oder the President of the United States.” “If I treated you differently than I would treat a South Side Loco or a pedo, what impact would that have on my perception of you?”
“I don’t care if your a gang banger, or the President of United States.”
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Skinner asked French repeatedly how many beers he had throughout the exchange between law enforcement officers. French eventually admitted that he was playing poker and had “three to maybe four beers.”
French was asked by the officer if he felt it was prudent to drive after having drank.
French stated, “No, but it was four blocks away,” before he started a field sobriety exam.
The captain begged Skinner for help as he tried to balance.
Skinner responded, “I know that you are aware about our body cam policy.” “You know that I can’t turn off this body camera.”
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French replied to the officer, “I do, but it’d be nice to talk to you.”
“I am a sergeant and have taken an oath that I will uphold the law. French was told by the officer that he didn’t favoritise anyone.
“I am a sergeant and have taken an oath that I will uphold the law.” I do not favoritise anyone.
Sgt. Skinner: “Yes, that’s me.”
French was taken into custody and booked at Oklahoma County Detention Center. While an Internal Investigation was being conducted, the captain was placed on paid Administrative Leave.