Dallas Council member faces criminal investigation

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by REBECCA LOPEZ

Bio | Email | Follow: @rlopezwfaa

WFAA

Posted on November 2, 2010 at 6:34 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 3 at 12:41 PM

DALLAS — Dallas police have launched a criminal investigation into Dallas City Council member Carolyn Davis after a traffic stop involving one of her neighbors.

Police said Davis may have been interfering with officers when she questioned them about why they were searching a vehicle belonging to Bernard Burnley.

Davis said they were violating his civil rights. Police said Davis may have been out of line.

Burnley said police accused him of running a stop sign, and then harassed him. "They had me by my jacket," he said, adding: "I didn't do anything."

Burnley lives around the corner from Davis. She said she drove up to the scene and saw Dallas police questioning Burnley, but also searching his pickup truck — so she demanded answers.

"I asked [Burnley], 'Did you give them permission to search?' and he said, 'No.'"

Burnley and Davis said police didn't have a right to search his truck, but in a police report released to News 8, officers stated that Burnley was running stop signs, so they pulled him over. They said he gave permission to conduct a search.

Sources tell News 8 that Davis was rude to officers and threatened to call the chief of police about the situation.

"I introduced myself as a Council member," Davis said.

Police said they asked Davis to go back to her car, but she refused.

When asked by WFAA, Davis denied having interfered with police duties. "I told him that I wasn't ... he had no permission checking his car," she said.

Dallas police issued a ticket to Burnley for running a stop sign. He says he will fight the charge.

Davis said she plans on taking the issue up with Dallas Police Chief David Brown.

The incident was captured by a squad car camera. Chief Brown issued a statement saying that once he saw the recording, he decided to refer this case to Dallas criminal intelligence to decide if Councilwoman Davis broke any laws.

At this time, police have decided not to release the video.

You can read more about the story in Wednesday's Dallas Morning News.

E-mail rlopez@wfaa.com

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