‘I’m a Captain of a police department… turn your camera off’: Moment Oklahoma chief cop tries to wriggle out of a DUI arrest after being pulled over while driving home from a poker game

  • Captain James French, 55, is filmed begging for officers to turn off their bodycam footage after he was pulled over for suspected drink-driving 
  • The video shows French try to explain he actually works for the force in its Investigations Bureau as he begs ‘please talk to me’
  • The Captain has been placed on administrative leave having been employed by the department for 32 years 

Astonishing bodycam footage has captured the moment an Oklahoma police chief begs officers to turn their camera off as he tries to wriggle out of a DUI arrest. 

Captain James French, 55, repeatedly asks the arresting officer to ‘please talk to me’ and whispers to turn his camera off, before later revealing he had been at a poker game and consumed around three or four beers. 

French slurs as he tries to explain that he is in fact a captain for the force’s Investigations Bureau, having been employed there for 32 years. 

But arresting officer Christopher Skinner holds firm as he reminds French he has ‘taken an oath to uphold the law.’

‘I’m the captain of the police department,’ French says in the embarrassing footage shared by the Oklahoma City Police Department (OCPD).

Toe-curling video footage has captured the moment Captain James French tries to wriggle out of a DUI arrest after being pulled over by one of his own

French repeatedly whispers to the officer urging him to turn off his bodycam footage 

Skinner then asks him for which department he says ‘Oklahoma’ and clarifies he works for the Investigations Bureau before whispering ‘turn the camera off.’ 

The officer questions what he is doing in the area to which he responds: ‘I’m home. I’m staying here.’

He then grimaces as he’s asked if he’s been drinking and tries to give the officer a knowing look. 

‘I’m not turning my cameras off, you got to be kidding me,’ Skinner can be heard saying.

After getting out of the car French is heard telling the officer that he was at a poker game and had consumed three to four beers. 

Asked whether it was safe for him to be driving, he replies: ‘No but I came from four blocks.’ 

French has now been placed on administrative leave pending a criminal investigation, an OCPD spokesman has confirmed. 

He was put through field sobriety tests that night and again is filmed asking officers to turn off their cameras. 

‘Sir can you turn that off,’ he says to which Skinner replies ‘I cannot, sir.’

‘Please,’ he begs. 

The officer then replies to him: ‘I know you are aware of our bodycam policy. You know I cannot turn off this bodycam.’

French says: ‘I do but I’d like to talk to you,’ later adding: ‘Please. Please, I’d like to talk to you.’

When he’s asked to complete the sobriety tests, he says: ‘Will you please talk to me? You can turn it off and turn it on.’

Skinner again refuses at which point French says: ‘Okay, I’m asking you. I’m a captain with the police department.’

French spent the night in Oklahoma County Detention Center before being bonded out. He has been placed on administrative force pending a criminal investigation

‘I understand that sir,’ the officer told French. 

‘I’m a sergeant [in this police department] and I’ve taken an oath to uphold the law. I don’t show favoritism to anyone regardless. I don’t care if you’re a gang banger or the President of the United States.’

He adds: ‘If I were to treat you differently than I was to treat like some south side loco or some pedo how’s that look on me?’

French was pulled over at 1.30am on Sunday morning.

A police report filed by Skinner – and seen by dailymail.com – reads: ‘I observed a dark colored vehicle travelling at what appeared to be a high rate of speed, swerving from left to right three or four blocks ahead of me.’

It continues: ‘I detected an odor of alcohol on [French’s] breath, I observed his eyes were watery and his speech was slurred.’

The report notes French was unable to perform basic sobriety tests, adding that he was transported to the Oklahoma County Detention Center.

‘I asked [French] if he would take the test again. He asked if I would talk to him outside.

‘After giving him two chances to take the test and never getting an answer, I took it as a refusal.’

French was jailed for a traffic violation but later bonded out.

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