A Texas councilman from Odessa with a penchant for allegedly abusing public funds made a spectacle of himself earlier this month, caught on camera cursing out officers and threatening them during a traffic stop.
Odessa Councilman Malcolm Hamilton was caught on dash cam during a Feb 1 traffic stop, when he reportedly parked on the wrong side of the road, veering across the lane in his Mercedes before coming to a stop.
“Call your commander right now, because I am your boss,” Hamilton screamed at the Odessa officers. “You understand that? I am a city councilman. You do understand that right? You are going to sit up here and stop me illegally like this?”
Hamilton swore at the officers in a profanity-laced tirade, threatening to use his government position to punish the officers involved.
“Don’t sit up here and play these fu**ng games with me,” Hamilton shouts at one point, adding later, “I could care less.”
Hamilton insisted he was backing into a driveway, repeatedly asserting his position.
“Bullsh*t dude,” Hamilton said. “I pulled over. I’m about to back into the g*ddam driveway. Man. You know that. C’mon dude. Don’t sit there and do these illegal ass stops, because that makes ya’ll look bad.”
Only three months on the job at the time of the stop, the councilman’s issued citation would be dismissed.
According to OPD Chief Tim Burton, the traffic stop is legitimate and that it is unknown why the citation had been dismissed, citing that the police department did not dismiss it.
“The preliminary indication by the video is that the stop was legitimate, and the officer did not do anything that would constitute a violation of policy,” Burton told the Odessa American.
Only 48 hours prior to the stop, Hamilton was being criticized for a $2,102.03 trip to Minneapolis to “study” the city.
In light of the scandal, Hamilton released the following statement, saying the trip was to study what attractions could benefit Odessa:
“As my district encompasses Downtown Odessa, I choose to extend my trip so that I might take full advantage of the trip and expense to further tour downtown attractions such as:
The hotels, apartments, theaters, museums, a sculpture garden, restaurants ranging from food trucks to fine dining and pocket parks,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chief Burton is expected to conclude review of an inquiry Hamilton requested to see if the traffic stop was justified.
“The councilman, like all citizens, is a citizen and therefore has the right to express themselves however they choose to,” Burton said. “And the police department is not in the business of choosing how citizens express themselves as long as it’s lawful.”
According to Burton, his officers are trained to handle citizenry who behave in an “emotional” manner.
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