A police captain from the Oklahoma City Police Department (OKCPD) was recently caught asking a sergeant at the same department to turn off his body camera after the sergeant pulled him over for a suspected DUI.
Captain James “Matt” French was allegedly seen speeding and not using turn signals prior to being stopped in the early morning hours of March 12.
The body-camera footage of the incident showed French repeatedly requesting that the sergeant to turn off his body camera.
Right from the start of the exchange, French identified himself as a captain of the police department and demanded that the officer’s camera be turned off. Despite the captain’s repeated demands, the sergeant, Chris Skinner, refused to turn off his camera and remained professional throughout the interaction.
“Get back in your vehicle,” Skinner said as French attempted to exit the car.
“I’m…” French began.
“Drunk?” Skinner suggested.
Skinner noted that French’s eyes were watery and his speech was slurred.
“I’m a captain of the police department,” French said.
“What police department?” Skinner replied.
“Oklahoma City. Turn your camera off,” the captain ordered.
“Sir, can I … can you turn that off?” French repeated. “I’m asking you. I’m a captain at the police department.”
“I don’t care if you’re a gangbanger or the president of the United States,” Skinner replied. “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?”
Throughout the exchange, Skinner asked French how many drinks he had consumed, and eventually, the captain admitted to having “three or maybe four beers” at a poker game prior to the stop.
Despite his admission, French pleaded with Skinner to turn off the body camera while he performed a field sobriety test.
“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 said.
“I’m a sergeant, and I’ve taken an oath to uphold the law. I don’t show favoritism to anyone regardless,” the sergeant replied.
Skinner ultimately arrested French, who was later placed on paid administrative leave while an internal investigation is conducted.
The sergeant’s professionalism and refusal to show favoritism during the incident highlight the importance of upholding the law and maintaining impartiality in law enforcement.