Body cam footage released of Oklahoma City Police captain arrested for DUI in work vehicle
Oklahoma City (KFOR) – Earlier this week, an Oklahoma City Police Department sergeant was filmed repeatedly asking a sergeant to turn off his body camera while driving under the influence of alcohol , as new footage released by the department shows.
On May 12, Captain James “Matt” French of the OKCPD Homicide Squad was pulled over on suspicion of DUI.
Sheriff Chris Skinner, a police officer, stopped speaking French just after 1:30 a.m. that day. Captain French, a 32-year military veteran, allegedly swerved and speeded in his city-issue vehicle. French later said he had a few beers and a game of poker four blocks away.
In the video, French appears to open the car door before the sergeant approaches.
“Get back in your car,” Sgt. Skinner said.
“I am,” began the Frenchman.
“Drunk?” Skinner suggested.
Skinner said French’s eyes were watering and he was slurring his speech. The video captures Captain making sure the arresting officer knows he is the “Captain of the Police Department” and asking Skinner to turn off his camera seven times.
“Sir, can I…can you turn it off?” the Frenchman once asked the officer. “I’m asking you. I’m the captain of the police department.”
“I don’t care if you’re a gang member or the president of the United States,” Skinner said at one point. “How would I feel if I treated you differently than I treat a Southside maniac or a pedophile?”
French eventually agreed to a field sobriety test, which he failed. Skinner arrested him.
According to the captain, the incident happened after a few beers and a game of poker four blocks away.
Police Chief Wade Gourley said Sgt. Skinner played by the book.
“In my opinion, this officer handled it exactly the way he was supposed to, you know, very professionally,” Sheriff Gurley said.
The department will now have to conduct a criminal investigation and a subsequent administrative investigation, the chief said.
“In an administrative investigation . . . [there are] We can delve into other issues that we can’t do on the criminal side,” Commissioner Gurley said. “A lot of times, there are a lot of things that just can’t be answered by watching a video. “
The criminal investigation will precede the department’s internal investigation.
Currently, French is on paid leave, but that could change depending on the investigation.
“I hate that we’re in this position. I hate Captain France. I hate our organization,” Gourley said.
The police chief speaks French and has a clean history in other respects.