It would be nice if I could post a story about how a police officer in Texas really understood the state’s Failure to Identify statute, Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 38.02 (West).

Unfortunately, this ain’t one of those.  A female Kennedale, Texas police officer responded to a call about several males open carrying rifles.  This isn’t a real good idea, but that’s a different issue.

(edited to restore video, thanks to Lewis Garza)

The first thing I get a kick out of is when the female officer ask the men if the rifles are loaded.  Duh.  Dumb question.  Would she trust them if they said the rifles were unloaded?  And then she acts surprised when she is informed that they are loaded.  Then she asks the men not to record her (“could you put that down, away from me?”) as if that was going to happen.

At about 0:25 she requests ID and the men immediately refuse.  The man’s spokesperson correctly informs her that the only time that he is required to ID is if he is being arrested for committing a crime.  That is exactly what the law requires, as we have discussed here and here.  And she immediately asserts that she has a right to know who they are.

She seems to believe that if she makes contact, she has the right to demand ID, and she offers “officer safety” as a reason.  It seems logical, but unfortunately she does not have that right.  See St. George v. State, 197 S.W.3d 806 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2006), aff’d, 237 S.W.3d 720 (Tex. Crim. App. 2007).

The officer is probably Ofc. Tara Culpepper.  Kennedale has a chief, a captain, four sergeants, two detectives, and thirteen officers.  All are obviously male except Culpepper and a recruit officer.  Well, I suppose Jamie and Chris ‘might’ be females, but I doubt it.

In any event, she needs some in-service training on the matter, not that she’ll get it.

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