City says Port Arthur Councilman not under investigation after alleged on cam verbal exchange

City says Port Arthur Councilman not under investigation after on cam verbal exchange

PORT ARTHUR - 12News has confirmed that the City of Port Arthur is not conducting an investigation of Councilman Thomas Kinlaw III.

This stems from video that surfaced on YouTube showing Kinlaw arriving to the scene and having a verbal exchange with first responders.

The crash scene was caught on camera last Friday night, and Kinlaw, who represents precinct 3 says his daughter was t-boned by street racers,

He says he approached the scene out of concern for his daughters well being.

Jefferson County private investigator Phillip Klein posted the video and claims Kinlaw threatened several law enforcement officers.

Kinlaw denys these claims.

The video first surfaced on YouTube on January 9th, and so far it has over a thousand views making it a topic of conversation among those living in the city of Port Arthur.

"Yes you're concerned about your child, but let them [police officers] do what they need to do then you go check on your child," says Aubrey Lewis, who says Kinlaws action was an abuse of power.

"I feel that it brings a bad reputation when anyone in position can over-rule what officers are saying," Lewis says.

Toni Brown says Kinlaw was just reacting like any other parent.

"You don't know what would happen if someone told you something happened to your kids, I know I would flip out," Brown says.

The video is bringing mixed reaction to the community in whether the councilman was just being a parent, or using his office to impact an investigation. 

"Regardless if you're a city councilman or citizen, you should obey what they [police] tell you to do," says Lewis.

"It's hard to tell how you should react if something like this happens, you just don't know," Brown explains.

Councilman Kinlaw tells us his daughter is currently recovering from her injuries.

12News filed an open records request for the  video of the incident on Tuesday, but so far the entire video has not been released by the city of Port Arthur.

Until the details are released, Port Arthur residents may not know how to react to this situation. 


The following is a complete statement by Councilman Thomas Kkinlaw:

"As a parent, as a father, I was put in a situation that was uncanny to me, out of my character, that will probably not happen again. I received a phone call that my daughter had been in a major accident, as a result of two guys high-speed racing. My daughter avoided one car, and the other car t-boned her, and caused her car to spin four or five times and injured her.

I get in my truck and while going to my daughter’s accident scene, nobody’s answering her phone so I’m thinking the worst.

And when no one answers the phone, I really wanted to get to my daughter, when I arrived at the scene see lots of emergency lights, and the condition of my daughter’s car. It had been T-boned, all the airbags were deployed and it was smoking.

If you ask me if I’d do things differently I would say yes.

I did speak with both the fire chief and police chief and expressed my apologies to both of the departments about this situation.

My daughter at this time is doing well. She has some bruising, head injuries, but she is doing well.

Again when I arrived at the scene my top concern was not where my truck was parked, but my priority was my daughter’s well-being."

© 2018 KBMT-TV


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