DALLAS As first reported Tuesday by WFAA and The Dallas Morning News, Dallas City Council member Carolyn Davis is the subject of a criminal investigation for allegedly interfering with police after they stopped one of her neighbors for a traffic violation.
We now know that Bernard Burnley, the man who was being questioned by police, has a long criminal history. That's one reason police had pulled him over.
Davis said she was trying to help her neigbhor when she approached police about why they were searching his pickup truck following a traffic stop.
Davis now finds herself in the middle of a criminal investigation. She told News 8 on Tuesday she was just trying to do the right thing by getting involved.
I think as a Council member I should have, because I want to know what was going on, Davis said.
The question is: Did Davis go too far by questioning the actions of police during a traffic stop involving Bernard Burnley?
It sounds like that she did, said fellow Council member Linda Koop. That probably is not a wise thing to do, but I just don't know that for a fact.
Davis maintained that police were improperly searching Burnley, violating his civil rights.
Police said he gave them consent to search, and that Davis wouldn't get out of the way of the investigation.
The incident was recorded by a squad car dashcam. Mayor Tom Leppert said he has been briefed on the incident.
Everything is going to speak for itself and all the facts will come out, Leppert said. While there is a pending investigation, I think it's best that that investigation plays itself out.
It turns out Dallas police were following Burnley because, they say, he was running stop signs. The truck he was driving belongs to his nephew; police say he has an extensive criminal history.
Burnley's criminal record includes aggravated robbery, car theft, burglary and resisting arrest.
In an interview with News 8 on Tuesday, Burnley defended the Councilwoman Davis.
I don't think she did anything wrong, he said. I don't think she pushed her weight around.
Dallas criminal intelligence will take a look at the video and decide for themselves if the Council member stepped out of line.
Dallas police Chief David Brown said the tape of the incident won't be released until the criminal investigation is complete.
Even if Davis is eventually convicted of a crime, she can still hold office at least temporarily. In Texas, public officials can retain their seats until any appeals have been made and the conviction is final.