Farron Salley, a West Palm Beach news anchor who was arrested and charged with DUI in December, apologized for mocking a bald cop during her arrest.
Salley, who is black, claimed the arrest was racially motivated. Her charges were dropped after the Palm Beach County State Attorney determined there was enough evidence to charge her, but not to convict her.
Watch the dash cam footage:
Dash cam footage shows the 28-year-old news anchor was driving at night without headlights when a Palm Beach Gardens police officer pulled her over December 14. She slurs her words and mocks the officer. She apologized but maintains her innocence. Salley returned to work in February following a two-month leave.
“I don’t feel like being pulled over right now,” she said on the video, scrolling through her phone.
While the officer attempted to give her field sobriety tests, she said, “I have a master’s degree. What do you have?”
When he denied her a high five, she said, “It’s OK! Maybe when we lose our hair, we lose the ability to high five.”
The video shows her get out of the police car and start to walk away after she was arrested. She was quickly placed back in the police car.
Here’s what you need to know:
Salley’s DUI Charges Were Dropped
The Palm Beach State Attorney determined there was not enough evidence to convict Salley of DUI, and the charges were dropped.
“Although there was probable cause to make an arrest, the evidence cannot prove all legally required elements,” the attorney’s office said in a Feb. 8 memo, according to the Palm Beach Post.
‘My Character Is My Reputation,’ She Said In Apology
Farron Salley issued an apology during her first day back to work in February following a two-month leave. Watch the statement here.
She became emotional during her statement and paused to wipe her eyes with a tissue.
Her full statement said:
“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.
“I’d like to make it clear that I am innocent of this. A fair investigation lead 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.
“I earnestly want to rebuild the trust that was broken and that starts with re-affirming my commitment to you. 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.
“To my WPBF family. that I call more than colleagues, but also my friends, I’m deeply sorry for the burden this has placed on you and I want to thank you for all you’ve done and the endless support you’ve given me along the way.
“To all of the viewers… I can’t wait to be back out in the community and see you face to face, not just here through a screen. Until then, I hope you’ll welcome me into your home this way. It really is an honor to work alongside such good people and get to tell you good morning. Good morning!”
WPBF 25 President and General manager Caroline Taplett responded to her return to work on the WPBF 25 website, saying, ““We are pleased that Farron has worked through the legal process with her situation and we are happy to have her back on the air.”
‘They May Shoot You Even Though You’re Not Black’ She Said on Video
Dash cam video showed Salley antagonizing police, accusing them of racism and mocking them. After her arrest, she got out of the police car and tried to walk away.
As she apparently tried to leave, Palm Beach Gardens Officer Cameron Carver reminded her for a second time the incident was being recorded.
“Just so you know, you’re being recorded, OK? And this is gonna look a lot worse for you,” he said.
After the traffic stop, Carver told her she did not have her lights on while she was driving at night. Salley often slurred her words while speaking with the officer. She admitted to having one vodka drink.
He asked her what was wrong while he stood by her car door.
“You,” she answered, scrolling through her phone.
When he asked her to repeat what she said, she answered, “I don’t feel like being pulled over right now.”
“OK. Well, you’re the one driving without out lights on, so,” the officer answered.
“Yeah well you’re the one pulling me over right now,” she said.
The officer told her she seemed to be impaired and asked her to step out of the car for field sobriety tests.
“Watch out. They may shoot you even though you’re not black,” Salley said to her then-fiancee, who is now her wife.
She repeatedly interrupted Carver as he tried to explain the field sobriety test directions.
“I have a masters degree! What do you have?” she asked.
When he said he has a bachelor’s degree, she put her hand up for a high five.
“It’s OK! Maybe when we lose our hair, we lose the ability to high five,” she said when he denied her a high five.
She became emotional when he told her she was under arrest, repeatedly telling him she is a good person, a model citizen who volunteers, and a reporter who often works with police.
“I have no pride in placing you in handcuffs,” he said.
She repeatedly apologized for her “cocky” demeanor but denied she was impaired.
“Yeah, my demeanor is cocky. I’m from Texas. I used to drive a truck before I came down here. I had a 4×4. My grandad was a cowboy. So, I’m sorry. I’ve just got a little bit of pride on my shoulders,” she said.
When she was placed back in the police car following what appeared to be a brief escape attempt, she whispered, “This is so racial.”
The arrest report filed by Officer Cameron Carver indicated he could smell alcohol on her breath and her “pupils were dilated more than the average person.” She showed “annoyance and aggravation” during the arrest, he noted.
“Salley’s speech changed various times while I was speaking with her from quiet to loud, slurred to coherent, mumbled and at times not understandable to understandable,” he wrote in the arrest report.
He also noted her clothes and car appeared neat and clean.
Salley’s online arrest record shows she was booked into the local jail at about 3:20 a.m. December 15 and released on her own recognizance about three hours later, meaning she did not have to pay bail for her release. The arrest report filed by Officer Cameron Carter indicates she was pulled over at about 9:45 p.m. December 14.
Former Palm Beach Gardens Officer Convicted of Shooting Black Man
A former officer with Palm Beach Gardens Police Department, Nouman Raja, was convicted in March of manslaughter and attempted first-degree murder for shooting stranded motorist Corey Jones dead October 18, 2015. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison, according to the Sun-Sentinel. It did not appear Raja and Carver worked together in the department.