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El Paso police chief photographed in uniform with GOP political leader not wearing mask or social distancing

gop-chief-photo
Facebook/El Paso Republican Party
Photo posted to Facebook by El Paso Republican Party that shows Police Chief Greg Allen standing alongside the new state party chairman (top center).

EL PASO, Texas -- Both the El Paso Republican Party and the Texas GOP have publicly posted a photograph on social media showing the city's police chief, in uniform, posing sans face mask or social distancing alongside the state party chairman in a group setting during what may be considered a political event.

The image that included Chief Greg Allen, which first surfaced Friday evening, also shows a second uniformed ranking El Paso police officer in it. El Paso Matters reported the gathering occurred at the El Paso Municipal Police Officers Association - a union that operates a political action committee, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The photo was taken during an appearance in El Paso by new Texas Republican Party Chairman Allen West in what the local GOP described as a "meet and greet." West has repeatedly voiced opposition to mask mandates - and has not been seen publicly wearing one to date.

Another photo from a separate event that same day during West's visit shows a room full of people - described as a "packed house" - listening to him speaking with a microphone. Few in the crowd were wearing masks - in seeming violation of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott's face mask mandate - and audience seats did not appear to be have at least six feet of space between them.

In the photo in which Allen appears, West is pictured standing next to him amidst a group of 13 people in all. The photo caption posted online describes the individuals shown as "local law enforcement" that West met with during his trip.

The county Republican party did not return a phone message left on its voicemail Saturday inquiring about the event.

Mayor Dee Margo's chief of staff declined to let him field questions about the photo following a Saturday news conference he attended to discuss an upcoming interfaith community healing service.

ABC-7 also formally requested comment from both the mayor and the chief through the city's communications director.

In a statement later released by the city, it said the chief was "invited to speak about law enforcement concerns... with a state official," although West holds no position in Texas state government. The Texas Republican Party's bylaws say his job is to "coordinate the political activities of the Party."

The city's statement maintained the appearance of the chief and the other officer in the photo with West that was distributed by the local GOP did not constitute "support of a political event."

A city spokeswoman said Allen and the other uniformed officer "were wearing masks during the event; however, masks were removed when taking photos."

The statement also cited Gov. Abbott's allowance of indoor events at limited capacity, but didn't address the separate "packed house" photo which seemed to go against state directives. The governor in recent times has chided local officials across the state for failure to enforce his orders.

In addition, City-County Health Authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza has implored El Pasoans on almost a daily basis to follow state and local health directives that require use of face masks in public along with proper social distancing, and the limiting of group gatherings. He didn't respond to a request made through the city spokeswoman for comment.

ABC-7 also asked the city to outline its policies, if any exist, on the wearing of official police uniforms, to which it had yet to respond. State law specifically prohibits police from appearing in uniform for political activity on behalf of a candidate, but it doesn't speak to non-candidate political events.

The GOP photos generated swift reaction on social media - much, but not all, of it from Democrats.

El Paso Congresswoman Veronica Escobar questioned the city's claim that the chief wasn’t acting in a political capacity. On Twitter, Democrat Escobar said El Paso police rejected a request for security assistance when then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, now Speaker, visited El Paso in 2018 for an immigration forum; Escobar said U.S. Capitol police were told by EPPD leadership that Pelosi's event was "too political."

Meantime, Texas Democratic Party spokesman Abhi Rahman said the behavior shown during West's El Paso visit "put our entire community at risk," and Democratic state Rep. Joe Moody asked on Twitter: "Does @ElPasoTXGov approve of this? Just curious."

Perhaps the harshest criticism came from one of Margo's non-partisan mayoral opponents in the upcoming November election. Carlos Gallinar tweeted that "Chief Allen's actions send a message of complete disregard for the public health crisis we're facing and that he's above the law - he isn't."

News / Texas Politics / Top Stories

Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.

Comments

80 Comments

    1. Madcowmike, Jim Parker is a highly-professional journalist and El Paso is fortunate to have him. If you disagree with him so much, then why do you patronize KVIA with all of your BS comments? You can always shove your comments up your a**.

      1. Madmike is always complaining about KVIA journalists…i do not understand why he doesn’t read other online news channels. He and his friends (fero2a, nadodave and maga 2020) cry about everything.

      2. I see your’e still on the rag. 30 days a month. Why do we patronize KVIA you ask? It’s called FREEDOM OF SPEECH. We know you are against it since you are part of this nations problem. The cancel culture. You don’t like what mike says, don’t read it since you are experienced of having large objects shoved up your arse.

        1. Nadouche, take your freedom of speech rights to like-minded forums, i.e. Limbaugh, Hannity. You don’t belong here at KVIA because all of the local media does not support ultra-conservative crap. Take your Trumptard friends with you.

    2. El Paso Republican Party
      23 hrs ·
      Guess who was sighted in town.
      Chairman of the Texas GOP
      LTC ALLEN WEST visited with local law enforcement.

      (this information is on the ratpublicans facebook page, hyprocrite cry baby)

    1. Uvacowboy if you can’t understand why this is a story you are a very low IQ person. Man in uniform taking sides? Uniform is the key word. A law enforcer not following the law? In uniform. Simple concept dodo bird.

  1. He needs to be removed! We pay his ass. Through our tax dollars and that maggot works for us! He needs to step down immediately and go join his local Republican Party full time. Maybe they can lay him his Cush salary and benefits. Another Madmike! Hates this city, but feeds here.

        1. alberto muerto it has everything to do with who pays taxes fool. You are a benefactor of taxes in your section 8 housing. You are the one begging for help from us taxpayers so maybe you should go drown yourself in the canal.

  2. I hope they stay in this story as long as it takes to make Allen step down. If he can’t follow the rules how in the hell can he enforce them?

      1. That psycho Alberto Velarde needs a welfare check from the EPPD. The psycho claims to have an AR15 and possibly a Glock pistol. Due to his obvious mental illness he should not be in possession of any guns.

          1. How about if we ask the EPPD to do a welfare check on you Alberto? Apartment #225 right? LMAO.

    1. you spew nonsense in 99% of your posts on all 5 of your profiles but you’re right about not wearing his uniform to a political gathering. Pretty mindless

  3. Chief Allen and these other conservative goons with a badge think they are above the law. Not surprisingly, the National Association of Police Organizations recently endorsed Donald Tramp. There are very few dignified conservatives who refuse to support Trump like the rest of the rightist sheep.

      1. Fero2a aaaaaaaagain!!! His only responses is Alberto. Lol. Pobrecito pendejo lost white republican in El Paso. Lol. U are a loser and you know it.

    1. Chief Allen; and those other conservatives are not burning or looting or killing. It’s your BLMers and Antifa that are doing that. There are no dignified conservatives that refuse to support Mr Trump, they are libtard anarchists like you. Also called the demoKKKrats. Even the liberal police unions are supporting Mr Trump.

      1. Most members of law enforcement in El Paso county are Democrats which would logically follow in an overwhelmingly Democratic county such as ours. Even the Republicans in congress are in the process of abandoning the orange buffoon so are most of the Republicans in El Paso. However any Republican police officer who supports the orange buffoon is not fit for service and should be removed from the force.

      1. Alberto likes waxing Beto’s rear end and scrubbing his balls. He does have a funny delusional sense of humor. Dumbass Beto can’t even flip Texas blue.

    1. Now there’s a triple threat of ignorance. Those three idiots in charge of anything is a guarantee failure. Our country will be bankrupt and under attack by our enemies within a year.

  4. No law, local or federal, prohibits a public employee from attending political events, however it is against the law to appear at a political event in uniform or on duty unless assigned for security or other official capacity other than politicking. It’s a clear violation of the Hatch Act. That said, he should just apologize and move on.

    1. What a moron. I see you’ve been drinking too much again. The Hatch Act? That federal law is not applicable to Chief Allen. He doesn’t get paid directly in part or fully with federal money. The municipality and taxpayers pays his salary. You should apologize and just shut up. Stop spreading misinformation.

    1. Read the Hatch Act. I’m pissed off at him. I’d be just as pissed off at Wiles if he did it with the Dems. If he was out of uniform, I’d support it. But he was in uniform. He violated the law.

      1. The Hatch Act is not applicable so sorry no cigar nitwit. No one cares if you are pissed off Steve. Who the eff are you? Just some sorry ass Mfer. A NOBODY! Now what was your rank in the Army? …..crickets? Private Steve.

  5. Masks and social distancing do zero to stop a virus spread. Obviously proven by the daily articles of the virus numbers. Good for these folks for in this article for living free.

    1. Dear Ann Landers: Here we go again with another I’ll informed Covid denier. For the Millionth time, masks and Distancing really WORK. Just stop being a Spoiled Karen and put on a mask. Stop contaminating the air with your breath that might have the virus. You know damn well you can’t go in any business without one. Stop being a spoiled brat.

    2. Gee, thank you. I’m sure your parents are proud to have a stupid kid that can access the internet. You’re one stupid mother fucker, aren’t you?

  6. If you work for EPPD you better not say anything bad about Loser Trump, or you will be demoted on the spot. Now we know who runs the EPPD. Good thing the Chief came out as a Republican because we can keep an eye on him. If he is anything like the Republican Nut Jobs on this site we will have to run him out of town, and replace him with an apolitical appointee.

    1. A person can support whomever they want. Only Commies keep a list. If he’s a Trump supporter, so be it. But I never want to see him again in uniform at a political event. But as for you: Don’t be a fucking commie.

      1. Commie Steve. The pot calling the kettle black. If he attends another political event in uniform what are you going to go about it moron? You are a NOBODY.

      1. Because people always hate winners. Human nature. He’s getting things done. Liberals hate that. They want him out because he’s effective at doing what we elected him to do. Exposing the corruption of the left and weeding them and the RINOs out. He’s done that brilliantly.

        1. He’s not a winner. He’s filed for bankruptcy 5 times. He’s paid off multiple porn stars to be silent about his tiny mushroom dick. He became rich after daddy gave him over a million dollars back in the early 70s. He drove the USFL into the ground. He lost money with a casino in Atlantic City. He’s a fucking turd. He had a very successful TV show, that’s about it.

          1. The big turd Steve on Resler still butt hurt from the 2016 election loss. There is something seriously wrong with you. You’re worse than psycho Alberto. Get some meds for your TDS.

        2. The only thing he’s done is get a tax break passed for the top 1% of earners. He has also caused many farmers to lose their farms with his trade war with China. He’s done nothing else.

          1. The 1% carry 38% of the tax burden in this country. They deserve the break. Without them our taxes be so high even the democrats would blush. Besides, Trump pisses the left off DAILY so he’s doing something right.

          2. Markturner the idiot. The stock market is up over 40% since he was elected moron. Plus he beat ISIS while all Obama did was draw a line in the sand and delivered billions to terror state Iran.

          1. The original caca maga is hard up for trump come hell or high water. Son, he will be out in November because he’s as stupid as you.

  7. If these people would have been captured looting and destroying, Veronica and the other crooks on the left would come out defending them for exercising their first amendment right. However, they are conservative minorities, so they are worse than whitty men.

  8. “State law specifically prohibits police from appearing in uniform for political activity on behalf of a candidate, but it doesn’t speak to non-candidate political events.” Obviously this was a non-candidate political event. So move along people. Nothing to see here. Keep up the good work Chief Allen.

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