The Case of the Drunk Police Officer, the Ankle Holster and the Errant Shot in a Patrol Car
The news broke this morning: 27-year-old Dallas Police Officer Kelly Beemer was out drinking last night, at Lee Harvey's, when a few of her pals realized she'd had a few too many to drive. A fellow officer offered to drive her home. They didn't quite make it. At the intersection of Gaston Avenue and Abrams Road, Beemer's gun went off inside a fellow officer's patrol car. This was 'round 11:30 p.m. But the early accounts were sketchy. DPD still had some investigating to do. And, there was dashcam video to watch and listen to.
DPD just sent its official, detailed recap of what happened, along with Dallas Police Chief David Brown's statement -- and he is not pleased, both with Beemer ("reckless") and the officers who tried to get her home in one piece (they "were trying to do the right thing but did it in the wrong way"). DPD also provided the very-NSFW audio and video of the event, posted after the jump.
According to DPD, when Beemer became too drunk to drive, another off-duty officer at the bar offered to drive her home. He got Beemer into his personal car -- but she jumped out and, according to DPD's release, "attempted to hide." At which point two on-duty officers -- Miguel Jamaica and Beemer's boyfriend Zachary Helm -- were called in to assist.
Beemer got into the back of Helm's patrol car; Jamaica went back on patrol. Helm then called another officer, Steve Meyers, who'd just gotten off work, and told him maybe it'd be a good idea if he followed 'em home and watched Beemer "due to her intoxication." But for whatever reason, when they hit Gaston and Skillman, Beemer pulled a revolver out of her ankle holster and fired a single shot into the right rear floorboard of her colleague's ride...
In the dashcam footage above, officers escort Beemer (who is clearly intoxicated and, well, upset) to Helm's car for a ride home from Lee Harvey's.
... Helm, naturally, stopped the car, and he and Meyers disarmed Beemer. DPD's spent the day conferring with the Dallas County District Attorney's Office, and they've decided how to charge her: with Discharge of Firearm in Certain Municipalities, a Class A misdemeanor that could get her a year in jall and/or a fine of up to $4,000.
She's on administrative leave pending an investigation; Jamaica and Helm are on restricted duty, because the chief isn't happy with how they behaved either. Internal Affairs is now involved, and "should any additional allegations of misconduct be exposed," says the DPD's release, "they will be thoroughly investigated as well."
To which Brown adds, in full:
"I am extremely disappointed by Officer Beemer's conduct and the actions she took during this incident. The recklessness she displayed is unacceptable conduct for a Dallas Police Officer and will be dealt with in a manner consistent with the Police Department's disciplinary process. I believe some of the involved officers were making what they believed to be a good faith effort to assist a fellow officer. However, they could have clearly determined that officer Beemer was intoxicated to the point she was a danger to herself and the public and made an arrest during their initial contact with her. The officers were trying to do the right thing but did it in the wrong way."
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