Gubernatorial Candidate's Claims ‘Cannot Go Unchecked:' Dallas Police Chief

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Dallas police Chief Eddie Garcia defended the department's officers at a news conference Monday after Republican Texas gubernatorial candidate Allen West criticized them multiple times on social media over the weekend.

"We're not trying this DWI investigation in the media," Garcia said at the start of the press briefing. "Mrs. West is entitled to due process, just like any other resident in this country."

Angela West, 61, was pulled over for a traffic violation at about 8:44 p.m. Friday on Northwest Highway in Dallas, police said. She was arrested after officers conducted a field sobriety test and later charged with driving while intoxicated with a child under 15 years old.

Angela West
Dallas Police Department
Angela West

In a video shown at the press conference, West's vehicle can be seen drifting over the line separating the shoulder from the right lane of traffic. When the officer initiated the traffic stop, West's vehicle stopped in the center lane of the three-lane road. Garcia said the officer who made the stop got out of her vehicle and asked West to pull over.

West proceeded to move over one lane -- into the right lane -- but was still stopped on Northwest Highway. After the officer spoke to West a second time, she pulled onto a street that was less busy.

The video then jumped ahead to footage of West taking a field sobriety test.

She completed a battery of tests, including following a light with her eyes, walking in a straight line, and balancing on one foot at a time.

The officer then asked West to take a breathalyzer test, which Garcia said was inconclusive because West did not breathe into it properly.

Allen West, a former Congressman from Florida and former chair of the Texas Republican Party, took to social media the next morning, posting a video in which he said his wife did not have anything to drink Friday and criticizing the Dallas Police Department.

The wife of Republican gubernatorial candidate Allen West faces a charge of driving while intoxicated with a child in the car after officers stopped her for a traffic violation Friday night in northwest Dallas, police say.

In a social media post on Sunday morning, West is seen holding up restaurant receipts, which he said show his wife drank just lemonade and water Friday.

"You will come to my house and you will publicly apologize to my wife, to my grandson, and to his parents," West said in the video.

Garcia refuted the claims about the officers that West made in the videos.

"When we're wrong, we're wrong and we will hold ourselves accountable, but no police chief can sit idly by while his officers get falsely vilified," Garcia said. "False misrepresentations about my officers cannot go unchecked. They work too hard and they sacrifice too much."

Garcia said given the circumstances, including West stopping her vehicle in the middle of the road, he thought the officer believed she had probable cause that West was driving while intoxicated.

"I saw a professional officer. I saw a courteous officer," Garcia said. "Regardless of what the lab results show, I believe that she believes that there was probable cause to think that something was impacting her driving."

Garcia said the lab results were not yet back Monday.

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