Watch North Dakota GOP Lawmaker Spew Homophobic and Xenophobic Remarks While Being Arrested for DUI
Author: Alex Cooper
North Dakota state Rep. Nico Rios, a Republican, made homophobic and xenophobic comments to police as he was being arrested on DUI charges a couple of weeks ago, according to police.
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The representative was pulled over at about 11:30 p.m. after swerving between lanes, the report states.
The police officers who pulled Rios over then conducted a Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test, Walk and Turn test, and One-Leg-Stand test where Rios showed “slurred speech and issue constructing sentences,” according to the report.
In the report, one of the police officers wrote throughout testing Rios became
An officer wrote that Rios became “verbally abusive, homophobic, racially abusive and discriminatory,” toward him during the tests. Rios was arrested after he refused to do a screening test.
“Inebriated or not, my actions and words to law enforcement that night were absolutely unacceptable,” Rios said in a statement to CNN. “Just two cop(s) doing their jobs keeping the community safe when they ran into me on a night I decided to act like a dummie. They did nothing to deserve any sort of disrespect. I owe it to myself, my district, and everyone and I vow to make sure this never happens again.”
In body camera video released of the incident, Rios is shown making the remarks and on the way to jail.
At the stop, Rios is heard making a homophobic slur. Rios then asks where the officer’s accent is from. The officer said that he is “originally from England.”
“You’re arresting me for driving home while people come into your country and rape your women? And I’m the bad guy?” Rios tells him after saying the U.K. is being “taken over” by migrants.
Rios told the Associated Press that he was leaving a Christmas party before he was stopped, and has “only gotten support from my colleagues, although a few have yelled at me for sure I deserved it.”
The lawmaker was elected last year. He currently sits on the House Judiciary Committee, which is a panel that oversees legislation on law enforcement.
“Moving forward after this night I feel like I have to emphasize my complete and total commitment to supporting Law Enforcement,” Rios said in his statement. “I messed up big time and I am truly sorry.”
Republican House Majority Leader Mike Lefor told the AP that he hadn’t seen the video, “but I’ve heard enough about it.”
He said he is “looking at the options that are in front of me.” Lefor added that he will speaking to Rios before speaking about the incident more. He wouldn’t say whether he had already asked Rios to resign.
“We are deeply troubled by Rep. Rios’ dangerous decision to drive while intoxicated and his remarks to law enforcement officers,” said North Dakota Republican Party Chairwoman Sandi Sanford in a text message to the news wire. “His behavior does not represent the values of the NDGOP.”
Rios has a pretrial conference in municipal court on February 5.
Watch the video of the arrest below.
Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Alex Cooper