Jose Lambie, Daily Mail, June 7, 2019
A black television anchorwoman has been allowed back to work despite her arrest for drunk driving, as bodycam footage obtained exclusively by DailyMail.com show her mocking officers and accusing them of arresting her because of her race.
Farron Salley, morning and weekend anchor at West Palm Beach’s Channel 25, was welcomed back after a two-month leave after her arrest on December 15, 2018.
The 28-year-old wrote a statement apologizing for her treatment to the Palm Beach Gardens Police officers but maintained her innocence.
But hour-long bodycam footage shows Salley slurring her speech and attempting to provoke white officers with accusations of racism, seemingly to turn the traffic stop into a racial incident.
Still, the Palm Beach County State Attorney said there was only enough evidence to arrest Salley — not enough to convict her.
‘The law doesn’t work for people who look like me,’ Salley told Officer Cameron Carver, according to the video. ‘But that’s OK.’
As she was asked to take field sobriety tests, including walking on a straight line and reciting the alphabet, Salley told her fiancée Colleen, who remained near the car: ‘Watch out, they may shoot you even though you’re not black!’
Officer Carver responded: ‘That’s a racist comment.’
Salley responds: ‘Yes, it was.’
According to the arrest report, Salley, while handcuffed, managed to undo the safety belt in the back of the police car and tried to walk away at a busy city street intersection.
Carver kept his bodycam on and didn’t engage Salley, who can be heard mumbling from the back seat: ‘It’s ’cause I’m black. This is so racial.’
She continued goading the cop as she was driven to jail, where she was kept for eight hours.
After she was arrested, the Texas native refused to submit to a breathalyzer test. At the scene, Carver told Salley he smelled liquor on her breath.
Salley admitted to having one vodka cranberry drink with dinner three hours before the stop.
Carver noted on his report that Salley’s eyes were bloodshot and her pupils dilated more than the average person.
Throughout the incident, according to the report, Salley appeared defiant, aggressive, rude and thoroughly annoyed. Carver remained calm and by-the-book professional, the video shows.
After Carver told her he pulled her over because she drove her black Honda Accord at night without taillights, Salley responded: ‘I don’t care what you have to say.’
Carver then asked why she used a ‘condescending tone,’ and Salley corrected him and said she was using an ‘affirmative tone.’
Among other exchanges, Salley told the cop, before making fun of his male pattern baldness: ‘I have a master’s degree, what do you have?’
After a slew of field sobriety tests, Salley was arrested and handcuffed — then started crying and trying to walk back her comments.
‘I’m a cocky son of a gun,’ she said, ‘but I can’t help it. I’m from Texas. My granddad was a cowboy, I’m sorry I’ve got pride on my shoulders.’
She apologized to everyone at the scene as the cop started reading her Miranda rights.
‘I’m a model citizen,’ Salley said through her tears as she was helped into the back of the police car. ‘You’re making a scene a mile from where I’m on TV. I’m not a bad person.
‘Please, I work at the TV station, I can’t have this.’
A few minutes later, one cop at the scene can be heard saying ‘she’s taken off her seat belt!’ as Salley exited the car.
She was instantly surrounded by several officers who patiently talked her back into the car.
Once at the county jail, according to court records, Salley told officers she suffers from ‘borderline personality disorder’ and is on medication she can’t identify.
Salley didn’t return calls and texts requesting comment.
When she returned to work after the Office of the State Attorney — the same agency that’s prosecuting New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft for prostitution — declined to prosecute her, Salley apologized for the incident.
‘I’d like to take a quick break from our news coverage to share something very personal with you. This is my first day back to work since mid-December when I was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence,’ Salley wrote on the station’s website.
‘I’d like to make it clear that I am innocent of this. A fair investigation led to all charges against me being dropped. I thank the men and women working hard to protect us all on the road.
‘I regret my behavior and not showing them the respect they deserve the night I was pulled over.
‘My character is my reputation. Upholding my values includes speaking genuinely from the heart. That’s why I want to share with you how much I’ve missed being here and I don’t ever want to take that opportunity for granted.’
She did not address her racial comments to the police.
Caroline Taplett, the manager of the Hearst Television station, did not respond to requests for comment.
Palm Beach Gardens Police did not comment on the fact the charges were dropped.
In March, a former police officer with the same department was found guilty of manslaughter and attempted first degree murder in the 2015 shooting death of a black church choir drummer whose car was disabled on the side of a highway.
Former cop Nouman Raja was sentenced to 25 years in prison for killing Corey Jones but is appealing the sentence.