A Republican state representative in North Dakota has apologized for using foul language toward cops who arrested him for DUI earlier in the month. He blasted one cop for being British and also called one of the arresting officers a “f*ggot.”
Officers pulled over State Rep. Nico Rios on December 15th. On the 18th, he took to X to come clean about his arrest and apologize.
“Nobody is more of a straight shooter than I am, and to put it bluntly I have to say that I messed up. Below is my official statement,” he wrote.
In a typed statement, he said, “This past weekend, I had a few too many drinks at a Christmas party, made the mistake of driving home, and received a DUI. I’m deeply embarrassed as this is not how I want to represent the people … I’m deeply sorry and regretful for my actions.”
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Nobody is more of a straight shooter than I am, and to put it bluntly I have to say that I messed up. Below is my official statement. pic.twitter.com/GwQA1zm0gX— Rep. Nico Rios (@nico4nd23) December 18, 2023
Some may feel it admirable that Rios quickly owned up to his mistakes. However, the freshman lawmaker left out some important details about the incident.
The Associated Press asked the North Dakota police if they had bodycam image from the arrest. The police did and turned it over. Pretty soon, it was all over social media.
“You’re arresting me for driving home. But people come into your country and rape your women. And I’m the f–king bad guy?”— Republicans against Trump (@RpsAgainstTrump) December 24, 2023
A Republican North Dakota state Representative was caught hurling racist, homophobic abuse during a DUI arrest.pic.twitter.com/x1YN5uziXZ
According to the police, Rios was “verbally abusive” throughout the incident. Besides his use of homophobic language, after learning one of the cops came from England, Rios said, “How many of your … friends and family members have been … brutalized and terrorized by … migrants?
“You’re arresting me for driving home while people come into your country and rape your women? And I’m the bad guy?”
He can also be heard calling the officers: “little b*tch” and “f*cking f*ggot.”
Rios threatened to call the North Dakota Attorney General to complain about the arrest. He told the officers they would, “regret picking on me because you don’t know who … I am.”
After the video emerged, Rios issued a further apology. He said the officers were just doing their job and his words were “absolutely unacceptable.”
“I owe it to myself, my district, and everyone and I vow to make sure this never happens again,” he said. “Moving forward after this night I feel like I have to emphasize my complete and total commitment to supporting Law Enforcement. I messed up big time and I am truly sorry.”
GOP leaders call on Rios to quit
Republicans control the North Dakota house by a margin of 82-12. However, even Rios’s GOP colleagues are unimpressed by his conduct on the video.
Yesterday, North Dakota House Majority Leader Mike Lefor (R ) said in a statement, “There is no room in the legislature, or our party, for this behavior. I understand people make mistakes, but his comments and defiance to law enforcement are beyond the pale. In addition, any lawmaker attempting to use his or her elected position to threaten anyone or skirt the law is completely unacceptable.”
Lefor’s words were echoed by North Dakota Republican Party Chairwoman Sandi Sanford. She said, “Rep. Rios’ actions and words fall short of the basic decency we expect from any of our neighbors. He endangered the community he was elected to serve and disrespected peace officers. This violates our core values as Republicans.”
Rios represents North Dakota’s District 23. He also sits on the House Judiciary Committee. He is scheduled to attend a pretrial hearing Feb. 5.
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