Dallas, TX – The Dallas Police Department (DPD) is standing behind a uniformed officer who was accused of trying to loot a liquor store during a tornado on Sunday (video below).
The department launched an internal investigation into the incident after the officer was seen carrying bottles of liquor outside a demolished 7-Eleven store in a live WFAA news broadcast, Newsweek reported.
As the news crew pulled into the parking lot, the officer was carrying several bottles outside the destroyed convenience store. He then set the bottles on the sidewalk nearby, and appeared to be talking on his radio before he walked off-camera.
"Pretty sure we just witnessed a DPD officer stealing liquor from the demolished store. Then noticed the news van was there and put it back," one social media user opined, according to Newsweek.
According to police, the officer in the video had radioed for backup after he confiscated the bottles from a woman who had looted the store.
"If you have another one-man come over towards the 7-Eleven and the liquor store please?” he asked the dispatcher. “I'm having multiple homeless people trying to run in and steal all the stuff that's out.”
The request was made two minutes before WFAA cameras arrived at the scene, Newsweek reported.
The DPD said that the officer was protecting the business owner’s property after the building “sustained a considerable amount of damage due to the storm, leaving it accessible to the public,” The Dallas Morning News reported.
"Officers of the Dallas Police Department take their roles seriously and serve to protect the community with honor and bravery,” the agency said, according to Newsweek. “The men and women in blue go to work everyday mindful of the badge, their integrity and most of all the public's trust."
First responders worked throughout the night to ensure no one was trapped inside structures damaged by the tornado, which touched down in the city with winds topping 140 miles per hour, WFAA reported.
You can watch news footage of the incident in the video below: