OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — Oklahoma City police have released body camera footage of the arrest of a state lawmaker early on Thursday morning.
Police said Rep. Dean Davis (R) of the Oklahoma House of Representatives was among a group of people who had remained on the patio of Skinny Slim’s, a pub in downtown Oklahoma City, at around 2:11 a.m. on Thursday. Officers told everyone on the patio to leave since it was a violation for a bar to allow people to continue drinking after 2 a.m., which is when the bar closes.
After telling one man to put his drink down and leave the premises three times, the man, who was identified as Rep. Dean Davis, became argumentative, according to an arrest affidavit.
The report states that he showed officers a credential and said something along the lines of, “You don’t know how bad you messed up. You will find out tomorrow.”
In the body camera footage released Friday, police officers are seen taking Davis into custody outside of the bar.
“Are you guys really doing this?” he can be heard on the video asking the officers.
“No, sir. You’re doing this,” an officer responds.
The officer reminded Davis that he was asked to leave the premises multiple times, but refused.
“Then you want to tell me how you’re a state representative and that we’re gonna have this conversation tomorrow,” the officer added. “And then you want to flash some badge.”
“First of all, you cannot detain me right now,” Davis said at one point.
“Yes, we can,” the officer said.
In the video, the officers tell Davis that he is being arrested for public intoxication.
A few moments later, while being placed in the patrol car, Davis points officers to a card in his possession and tells the officers to call their supervisor.
“Read the back of that card. Read what state law says,” Rep. Davis said.
In the video, the officer pauses to read the card as Davis waits in the patrol car.
“‘Senators or representatives shall, except for treason, felony or breach of peace, be privileged from arrest during the session of the Legislature,'” the officer reads.
“Correct,” Davis is heard saying.
“You’re not in the Legislature,” the officer said.
“Yes, I am!” Davis said.
“Ok, well, you’re not in the state Capitol right now,” the officer said.
“Fine, call your, call your advisor. Call everyone,” Rep. Davis said.
“So, at this point right now, the way I’m reading it, I’m not arresting you at the state Legislature,” he said, after asking Davis to stop interrupting him.
“You can’t detain me,” Rep. Davis said.
“I can and I am right now,” the officer responded.
The arrest report added that Davis, while he was being taken to the Oklahoma County Detention Center, had reportedly told the officer that he “felt sorry for him” and that “we will see how this turns out.”
Nexstar’s KFOR asked Gov. Kevin Stitt about the arrest during his weekly news conference Friday morning. He had not been informed of the incident, but responded after being made aware.
“People sometimes make poor choices and … they need to be held accountable,” said Stitt. “So don’t know any specifics about that. But, you know, we’re going to be a law-and-order state in Oklahoma and we hold ourselves to higher standards, especially as as public officials.”
Representative Cyndi Munson (D), the minority leader of the Oklahoma House, sent KFOR a statement in response to the video.
“I have reviewed the footage of the arrest. The video was distressing. It is known that this isn’t the first time the Representative has been arrested on charges related to intoxication and has attempted to use his position as an elected official to avoid facing consequences. It appears he needs to seek help for substance abuse. And I sincerely hope he does.
“As a member of the House of Representatives, we are not above the law and must protect the public safety of all people. It is incumbent upon the Speaker to respond soon. As Leader of the House Chamber, it is important to hold his members accountable to ensure the people’s business is conducted with integrity.”
Davis was arrested for another alcohol related incident in 2019. He pleaded “no contest” to DUI charges from that arrested only months ago. Davis also made phone calls during the arrest to Rep. T.J. Marti, who was also at the bar Thursday morning.
Marti is the chair of the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Controlled Substances committee. Davis also sits on the committee.
In a public apology on the House floor regarding the arrest on Thursday, Davis disputed any wrongdoing.
“I understand that last night has become a story and that many of my colleagues in the House are being asked to comment on or to explain the events of last night. I dispute any wrongdoing. However, I do want to take this opportunity to apologize to this body for creating this unnecessary distraction from the important work of the House. Thank you members for allowing me this time. Thank you Mr. Speaker,” he said.
KFOR reached out to House Speaker Charles McCall for comment on the arrest. We asked if the House of Representatives credentials were indeed some kind of get-out-of-jail-free card, and if Davis would be censured.
KFOR also reached out to both Davis and Marti for comment, but have not heard back from either lawmaker.