Texas DPS video shows man admit smoking pot, driving illegally, refutes claim troopers aimed guns at child

Texas DPS body cam footage shows the trooper pointing his gun down and not, as was claimed by local reporting, at the driver's 10-year-old son

The Texas Department of Public Safety on Wednesday released body cam footage showing a traffic stop in Austin, Texas, that led the city to suspend its partnership with the agency. 

A report from FOX 7 on the Sunday-night traffic stop in South Austin detailed a trooper who was accused of pulling a gun on the driver’s 10-year-old son as he tried to exit the vehicle.

texas dps video shows man admit smoking pot driving illegally refutes claim troopers aimed guns at child

A Texas State trooper, gun drawn, approaches a vehicle during a traffic stop.  (Texas DPS)

The report caused an uproar among city officials, leading to Mayor Kirk Watson’s announcement that the DPS-APD partnership – which had been created to help the understaffed APD combat rising crime – was effectively suspended. 

Body cam footage reviewed by Fox News Digital shows troopers pursuing a vehicle that pulls into a residential driveway. A door opens on the passenger side and one of the troopers commands him to close the door. The trooper has his gun drawn but has it pointed toward the ground – not at the driver's 10-year-old son as was reported. 


The trooper approaches the driver’s side and commands him to close the door as the trooper’s partner approaches. Both troopers keep their guns drawn for a few moments before putting them away. 

The first trooper berates the driver for opening the door and attempting to get out of the vehicle during a traffic stop. 

"You see lights sir, you don’t exit the vehicle when you see lights on behind you," the trooper tells the driver, who responds that he had pulled into his own driveway. 

Tensions appear to cool down and both sides agree to "start over." 

The troopers tell the driver – later identified as Carlos Meza – he was pulled over for not having a proper license plate. The driver explains that he’s on a "three-month waiting list," but the trooper says he’s still not allowed to drive the vehicle. 

The driver then admits that the vehicle is uninsured and that he doesn’t have a license or the title. When the trooper asks what documentation he does have for the vehicle, the driver says: "a lot of tickets." 

texas dps video shows man admit smoking pot driving illegally refutes claim troopers aimed guns at child

Troopers had the driver conduct a series of sobriety tests.  (Texas DPS)

The driver also admits to "having smoked" in the past three hours and the troopers have him conduct a series of sobriety tests. He tells officers he hadn’t been drinking but appears to be genuinely perplexed when told that possession of marijuana – regardless of the amount – is illegal in Texas.

Meza told FOX 7 he did not realize he was being pulled over and never would have pulled into his driveway. 


Though acknowledging that the troopers weren’t pointing their guns directly at his son – as had been reported – he said he believes the fact that they had their weapons out at all is problematic. 

He spoke positively of the city suspending its partnership with the APD, saying it "makes everybody in Austin feel better." 

Wednesday's suspension came two days after Mayor Watson heaped praise on Texas DPS before doing a complete 180. The mayor told KXAN a "troubling incident involving a man and his young son" had been relayed to him, but he appeared not to have seen the body cam footage himself.

KXAN reported that it showed the mayor the video, but he had stood by his decision to suspend the DPS-APD partnership

Texas DPS tweeted Wednesday evening that it will continue patrols in Austin "as part of its responsibility to protect and serve Texans," effectively rendering Watson's decision moot. The Department's jurisdiction, as one trooper noted several times during the incident with Meza, encompasses the entire state and it answers to Gov. Greg Abbott. 

Fox News Digital has made repeated attempts to the mayor's office for comment. 

Bradford Betz is a Fox News Digital breaking reporter covering crime, political issues, and much more. 

Authored by Bradford Betz via FoxNews July 12th 2023