Texas State Trooper Billy Spears has been disciplined by the Department of Public Safety for having his photo taken with Snoop Dogg at SXSW even though Snoop requested it.
Spears was on duty in Austin during the SXSW music festival when Snoop Dogg approached him and asked for a photo. Snoop them posted the photo to his Instagram account with the text “Me n my deputy dogg”.
Trooper Spears was not able to appeal the charges through official channels and then made to undergo counselling. He has now gone public via his attorney Ty Clevenger.
The Department claims the photo of Spears and Snoop “reflects poorly on the agency”, especially as Snoop Dogg has a criminal record for drug charges. However, Clevenger argues that while Spears knew who Snoop Dogg was he did not know about his prior drug conviction.
The way the Department reported the photo made like Spears has associating with criminals. Spears apparently needs counselling because, “While working a secondary employment job, Trooper Spears took a photo with a public figure who has a well-known criminal background including numerous drug charges. The public figure posted the photo on social media and it reflects poorly on the Agency.”
Billy Spears did not initiate the photo, he did not ask for it to be taken, he did not take the photo and he did not post the photo to social media.
Clevenger argues, “I’m not much of a rap fan, and I don’t care for some of Snoop’s lyrics, but he is actively involved in a lot of stand-up charitable work. So what’s the big deal? Would the DPS hierarchy get so bent out of shape about a picture with Willie Nelson?”
This week Spears released his own statement. “Dear friends and supporters, I have been overwhelmed by the kindness and the encouragement that I have received from so many people, most of them strangers. I am honored and grateful, and I hope that you will not interpret my silence as a lack of gratitude. I have not spoken publicly or given any interviews because I do not want to be accused of violating any DPS rules or policies. I hope you understand. Thank you again.
/s/ Billy Spears”.
To complain about the actions of the Department of Public Safety and express your support for Billy, fax a letter to Governor Greg Abbott at (512) 463-1849, send an email to Info@GregAbbott.com, or send a message from the Governor’s webmail page. You can also send an email to Lt. Governor Dan Patrick at email@example.com. If you are a Texas resident, you can contact your local state senator and state representative via the Texas Legislature’s search page.
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