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‘Turn your camera off': Video shows Okla. capt. asking officer to turn off bodycam during DUI arrest

Police Chief Wade Gourley praised the officer for following protocols and acting professionally

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KOKH Fox 25/YouTube

By Bill Carey

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma City Police Department released body camera footage showing one of their own being arrested for driving under the influence and repeatedly asking the arresting officer to turn off his body camera.

Capt. James French was pulled over Sunday morning after officers observed him swerving and speeding in an unmarked, city-owned SUV, KOKH reported.

When the officer asked French if he had been drinking, French responded with “I’m a captain on the police department,” and then whispered, “Turn your camera off.” He added that he is with Oklahoma City Police Department, “Investigations.”

The officer asked French how much he had to drink and French again motioned to his chest and in a whisper said, “Turn your camera off. Please. Turn your camera off.”

“I’m not turning my camera off,” the officer replied, directing French to exit the vehicle.

During various field sobriety tests, French repeatedly asked the officer to turn his camera off. “Sir, can you turn that off,” French could be heard asking the officer.

“I cannot sir,” the officer responded. “I know you are aware of our bodycam policy,” he told French. “You know I cannot turn off this bodycam.”

French was taken into custody and booked into the Oklahoma County Detention Center.

Police Chief Wade Gourley praised the responding officer for following protocols of his body-worn camera: “The officer did exactly as he should have and handled it very professionally, in my opinion. As far as how the officer responded, he did exactly as he should have. Our policies of our body camera, there’s certain types of calls that the body cameras are required to be on and traffic stops are one of those. So the officer told him, you know, ‘I can’t turn the camera off.’ As to why Captain French was saying that, I can only make assumptions, but the officer did exactly as he should have by not turning the camera off.”

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