Dallas police chief Eddie García isn’t backing down from Texas gubernatorial candidate Allen West, who demanded that Garcia fire the officer who arrested his wife Friday (Aug. 20) on suspicion of driving while intoxicated with her young grandson in the car.
García released dash and body cam video footage Monday (Aug. 23) during a press conference at which he backed Officer Lydia Harris. The nearly 20-minute-long video shows Angela West’s field sobriety and breathalyzer tests.
“When we are wrong, we are wrong and we will hold ourselves accountable, but no police chief can sit idly by while his officers get falsely vilified. False representation of my officers cannot go unchecked,” said Garcia, according to CBS Dallas Fort Worth.
After his wife’s arrest, West, a Black Republican former congressman who once called for President Barack Obama’s impeachment, denied that Angela was intoxicated and berated the police in a social media video.
The police chief said Harris pulled over Angela West, 61, after observing her driving her SUV between a road’s shoulder and the right lane, inching further onto the shoulder.
West agreed to perform a field sobriety test and a breathalyzer. The field test included shining light into her eyes to look for unusual eye movements that could indicate intoxication. Results of the breathalyzer were inconclusive because West didn’t blow properly into the device.
Harris arrested her and made arrangements with child protective service to have her two-year-old grandson picked up by his parents.
The police administered a blood test at the jail. However, the results were not yet available.
West was released on Saturday (Aug. 21).
In a video, Allen West, who announced in July that he will run against Texas’ GOP Gov. Greg Abbott, said his wife had been drinking only water and lemonade at dinner on the night of her arrest, suggesting that she was falsely arrested.
“I support the thin blue line, but this is insidious,” he raged in the video.
“I am beyond livid,” he added. “I’m telling you something, the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, the Dallas police chief — I want an explanation for this.”
Todd Shapiro, the attorney representing West, called the police affidavit “problematic,” The Dallas Morning News reported.
He questioned the validity of the horizontal gaze nystagmus test used by the officer to observe involuntary eye movement during the field sobriety test. The officer observed one of six clues.
”I’ve never seen a police report make it this far that accompanies an arrest or probable cause affidavit, where the cop lists one out of six clues on the horizontal gaze nystagmus test,” Shapiro said. “The fact that they only showed one of six clues right off the bat is extremely problematic.”
Shapiro said West was not drinking alcohol and doesn’t use drugs.
“I think everybody’s waiting to see what the blood test shows,” he added.
Photo: Dallas Sherrif’s Office