Dallas Officer Suspended Without Pay for 30 Days for Trying to Confiscate Head Cam

Published On September 16, 2012 | By CopBlock | Articles

Carlos Miller of Photography is Not a Crime reports:

The Dallas Sheriff’s deputy who arrested a motorcyclist on Memorial Day after he refused to hand over his video camera as evidence against other bikers was suspended today for more than a month without pay, which is more punishment than we normally see in these incidents.

Deputy James Westbrook will serve a 38-day unpaid suspension for pulling over Chris Moore, then telling him he was going to seize his helmet camera as evidence against other bikers, some who were apparently speeding and driving recklessly.

When Moore reminded him he had no right to seize the camera, Moore arrested him for an obstructed license plate.

The above video, which was shot from Moore’s helmet camera, indicates that Moore’s license plate was not obstructed.

Besides, it took Westbrook more than three minutes to come up with that allegation. And even then, that is normally an offense that amounts to nothing more than a citation.

Westbrook pulls Moore over at about 3:00 into the video.

“The reason you’re being pulled over is because I’m gonna take your camera and we’re gonna use it as evidence of in the crimes that have been committed by other bikers,” he tells him.

“I have not committed any crimes and you can’t take my personal property from me, sir,” Moore responds.

At 6:30 in the video, Westbrook announces he is arresting Moore for an obstructed license plate, which astounded Moore, prompting him to start reading off the license plate number.

At 8:10, Westbrook  loses his temper and shoves Moore hard into the back of the patrol car, slamming the car door on Moore’s leg. Then at 9:50, he pulls him out of the car and appears to loosen the cuffs.

According to WFAA:

Westbrook made the arrest on Memorial Day weekend, when local law enforcement departments were on high alert. They wanted to prohibit reckless behavior by motorcycle riders on the anniversary of a biker event where they shut down North Central Expressway in Dallas and sprayed graffiti on the road.

During his arrest of biker Chris Moore, Westbrook said: “The reason you’re being pulled over is because I’m gonna take your camera and we’re gonna use it as evidence of in the crimes that have been committed by other bikers.”

It is not illegal to wear a camera on your helmet. And experts say Westbrook’s reason did not constitute probable cause to make a traffic stop.

But what bothers Taylor more than Westbrook’s traffic stop is the deputy’s verbal outbursts and how he slammed the squad car door on the biker’s leg.

 

Submitted by “Common Sense.”

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  • http://www.badgeabuse.com badgeabuse

    GREAT NEWS…..

    38 days to learn the law….

  • fazenda

    Did I read that right?

    Submitted by “Common Sense.”

    @ common

    Thank you

  • shawn

    Hope he falls behind in his mortgage and car payments. Would be nice to see the little tyrant’s family pay for his bad choices. Maybe they’ll put some pressure on him to control his damned ego.

    That’s a lot of money he just lost. Oh, and if he has any part of his bennies, he’ll probably still have to pay them, which will come out of future paychecks.

  • Bryanne B.

    Submitted by… did I read that right?

  • Chris Mallory

    Would have been better if he had lost his job and pension and spent 10 years in prison for violation of civil rights under the color of authority.

  • http://www.solitaryxmusic.com Chris

    If it was actually submitted by Common, I’m sure his intention is “see, they do get punishment.” lol.

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  • John Doe

    38 day suspension and no jail time for armed robbery.. pretty good deal

  • zon

    @John Doe, that’s a punishment, it sounds more like a joke to me, wonder what a mere citizen would have gotten for doing what that cop did, if not beaten to a pulp by the biker then probably a long prison sentence for aggravated assault and grand theft or whatever theft charges that the prosecutor could put on him.

  • Common Sense

    Nope, no submitted by me.

    Though there is a new video of a ‘freeman/sovreign’ riding the lighting on liveleak. I laughed and laughed.

  • Otto Maddox

    This cop just couldn’t handle someone who knew his rights and now he’s probably going to lose his job.

    An obscured plate is nothing something you get arrested for. Period. Not to mention it wasn’t even obscured.

    He just wanted that camera and let his ego get the best of him.

    His little weasle partner needs to get fired too.

    I hope the suspension is just the start. He needs to get fired and then charged with robbery. I know that’s unlikely.

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  • leo

    they wonder why we call them pigs

  • sonny

    kid glove treatment like that officer got is one reason cops violate the law . he should have been fired and maybe cops will think next time before taking someones property.

  • sneek24

    He deserved a lot worse. With a temper like that he should be writing parking tickets the rest of his career.

  • sonny

    If people don’t belive that police officers do as they please and make up charges just to make arrests that video should be proof enough.the SS cop should have been fired and not suspended and the young man should sue him for false arrest.Part of the trouble with cops not knowing the law is they are ignorant uneducated and most are sadist and brutal animals.Ofcourse the friends or cop wannabes will post comments saying it’s not true but just ask that young man in the video if it is.

  • Marshal Law

    Suspended, that was str8 thuggish. He told him what he was going to do, and broke the law in order to do it. This is wrong, makes you wonder what else he’s wanted and actually took, before and after suspension. Dude needs to be recouped for all the $$ he was out of for the felonious crap. To serve and protect and help you spend yo check. That thief should not be called a cop.

  • Capone1622

    if u google the officer name he was involved in a earlier instance caught on camera too, where he punched a man on the floor already handcuffed three times while several officer already had the person under control

  • nakyer

    Okay.

    The police suspended the cop.

    Now, what about the victim’s arrest record being erased?

    What about compensation for being kidnapped and having a car door slammed on his leg?

    What about (as Chris Mallory suggest above) the cop being arrested for
    1) theft/armed robbery,
    2) assault (at least two counts),
    3) battery (at least two counts,
    4) false imprisonment,
    5) kidnapping,
    6) lying to the police regarding a crime,
    7) abuse under color of law,
    8) violation of the 4th (at least two counts),
    9) violation of civil rights.

    Moore better sue the cop and the jurisdiction for billions.

    How much are your freedom and your rights worth to you?

  • / Enrique Humbard
  • sonny

    Cops like him have money put back and WE all know where he got it and other cops will chip in to see the bastard doesn’t starve but to bad he wasn’t fired and sued for false arrest that’s why cops like this Idiot break the law they know nothing can happen to their job.

  • http://none none

    They should put that crook in jail…meaning the COP..
    the notion that this guy abused the public trust makes me sick

    You want to know why cops have the reputation they do

    PERFECT EXAMPLE

    I will NEVER EVER SUPPORT DALLAS POLICE

  • D_Smith2020

    That was a serious miscarriage of justice. Both police officers should have been fired for that imo.

  • Jordan Vogel

    Wonder if his bike was impounded and he was forced to pay for that.

  • michael92064
  • Veldask Krofkomanov

    About 6 years ago, I graduated with a degree in criminal justice. I wanted to be a cop. It never worked out, because the economy took a dive and the police departments stopped hiring. I had wanted to help people and the community. I am so glad that path didn’t work out.

    I see more and more of videos like this daily. It’s hard for me to imagine that people get into law enforcement with the intention to be bad police officers. I think they want to do good. I think it’s people like me. However, something(s) about the job creates these attitudes that you see in these videos which are so prevalent. I’m sure the officers get jaded dealing with actual criminals. There’s also the infamous brotherhood that develops between cops, where they shield themselves even if they do wrong. I look at this incident and think how I would have acted. It’s hard to say. One thing that really got me thinking is when the cop slams the door on the motorcyclist. That’s temper right there, and what’s worrisome is that I have a slight bit of a temper. I’d like to say I’d act better in that situation, but who knows what years of being on the force would do.

    As someone who has held police officers in high esteem for a long time, I am now someone who tries to avoid police officers as much as I can. I know that most officers are still good human beings, but you never know if the cop you’re going to encounter is one of the bad cops, or even a good cop having a bad day (although perhaps anyone who acts detrimentally even if they’re having a bad day shouldn’t be considered a good cop).

    I am now in medical school, where I’ll be in a profession where I’ll be able to help people much more. The thing with having been a police officer is, even if I had been a great cop and acted well every day, there’d still be a great number of people who would hate me automatically simply for being a cop. I suppose in a way it’s like racism, where people hate you without actually knowing you. Again, I am so glad I chose to head a different route with my career, for numerous reasons.

    I am thankful that as technology improves, our ability to capture incidents like this improves. Police officers are supposed to help the community, not fight against it. Even if this man’s license plate was obstructed, what logical reasoning is there to arrest him other than your own temper getting the best of you and you wanting to show the offender who’s in “control”. This should be a ticketable offense, at most. Where exactly is the victim when a license plate is obscured? Sigh, common sense is not so common.

  • Goldpenny’s Graffix

    U forgot about the only he had to pay for his impounded bike.

  • Goldpenny’s Graffix

    It was, he did.