TEMPE, Ariz. — Pinal County Sheriff's Deputy Julian Navarrette is the subject of an internal investigation after he was arrested for driving under the influence in Tempe in December.
Newly obtained body camera footage from ASU Police officers who pulled Navarrette over shows the then-26-year-old asking to be let off the hook.
“You’ve been drinking, dude, and you were driving," said the ASU PD officer.
“Yeah but I’m also a police officer," Navarrette replied.
Around 2 a.m., an ASU Police officer pulled Navarrette over after a night out in Tempe near McClintock and University. Navarrette was off-duty and with friends.
According to an ASU PD report, the officer observed Navarrette speeding and swerving.
“How much have you had to drink tonight?” the officer asked.
“Just a couple drinks," Navarrette said.
Navarrette is seen on body camera video quickly showing the officer his badge.
“Who do you work for? Pinal?” the officer asked.
“Pinal," Navarrette replied.
The officer asked Navarrette to step out of the car.
“I’ve done this whole shpeal man. What are we going through?” Navarrette asked. “Can we let anybody else in the vehicle go through this?”
Navarrette asked the officer to consider the fact that he's in law enforcement.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re an officer or not," the ASU officer said.
“Then that puts my job at risk, right?” Navarrette said.
“You don’t think it’s gonna put mine at risk if I don’t do this?” the officer replied.
“Dude I understand but can I, can I, maybe someone else, put, like, behind the wheel? Behind the wheel?" Navarrette said. “Don’t put my [expletive] career at risk.”
The off-duty deputy told officers he had three mixed drinks.
“Why can’t you help me out though?” Navarrette said.
Navarrette then used a racial slur.
“This isn’t New York, man," the ASU officer said.
“New York? [expletive] I’m from Arizona, dude. I’m not from New York," Navarrette said.
“Dude, first of all, watch your mouth," the officer replied.
After conducting a field sobriety test, Navarrette blew a .121. The officers arrested him for driving under the influence.
Back at the ASU police station, Navarrette continued to ask the officer why he couldn't let him off the hook.
“You couldn’t [expletive] give me the opportunity to park the car [inaudible]. No one reported it," Navarrette said.
“The fact that you’re telling me that tells me you shouldn’t be an officer," the officer said.
“[Expletive] a. Okay," Navarrette said.
A spokesperson for the Pinal County Sheriff's Office said the department initially put Navarrette on modified duty, which meant he could not drive a county vehicle. He rode with another deputy while taking regular calls for service.
As of Monday, however, the spokesperson said he is back to regular duty.
The spokesperson declined to comment further, sending 12 News the following statement:
"Deputy Navarrette is currently the subject of an internal investigation related to this incident, and as such we cannot discuss the case."
12 News spoke briefly with Navarrette on the phone. He said he did not want to make a statement at this time.
ASU PD's public information officer released the following statement about the arrest:
"Our officers handled themselves in a professional manner, as they would with any subject they encounter."
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