Dallas County employees appear in Christian rap video

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by REBECCA LOPEZ

Bio | Email | Follow: @rlopezwfaa

WFAA

Posted on February 12, 2014 at 7:14 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 12 at 7:20 PM

DALLAS — It looks like a movie, but some of the stars are not actors... they are real cops.

This weekend, a trailer for a music video was released by Christian rap singer Harmini.

The video was shot in Dallas, and if you take a closer look, you can spot real police uniforms.

Two of the actors are deputy Dallas County constables, And one of them might be a Dallas police officer.

"They were not on duty. They were not compensated. They did not use county vehicles nor county resources to get there," said Precinct 5 Chief Deputy Constable Fred Collie.

The deputy constables were in the video because their boss — Precinct 5 Constable Beth Villareal — gave them permission to be in it. She is also in the video, which will be released in December.

But there's a problem. Villareal did not seek permission from her bosses, the County Commissioners, to do this.

"I would have no problem if Ms. Villareal had to do this," said legal expert and attorney Pete Schulte. "The issue that comes up is: When they did do it? They were wearing an official Dallas County constable uniform, and that's when she needed to seek approval with the Commissioners, because of the liability issue."

As for the person in the Dallas police jacket and hat, the department is trying to determine if he's really an officer.

Officers are required to have permission from the chief for an appearance like this; if this was an officer who acted without permission, he could be in trouble.

The video is for the rapper to sell his music.

Villarreal’s spokesperson defended her actions.

"She feels... and the deputy constables feel... that if they volunteer on Saturday in their own time in a religious-sponsored event that they should have the right to do so," Collie said.

But some question whether this is an appropriate activity for law enforcement officers.

E-mail rlopez@wfaa.com


WATCH: Harmini music video


 

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