Nico Rios, a Republican state representative in North Dakota, has apologized for allegedly making homophobic and xenophobic comments towards a police officer on Dec. 15.
Rios was pulled over around 11:30 p.m. local time that day by police after swerving into the opposite lane. He was eventually arrested for refusing to submit to a chemical test and issued a citation for a DUI.
However, the police report also detailed that Rios became “verbally abusive, homophobic, racially abusive and discriminatory” while officers were conducting a series of tests on him to see if he was drunk.
Rios told CNN in a statement over the weekend that the two officers from Williston who pulled him over were just “doing their jobs,” and his comments were “absolutely unacceptable.”
“They did nothing to deserve any sort of disrespect. I owe it to myself, my district, and everyone and I vow to make sure this never happens again,” Rios said.
“Moving forward after this night I feel like I have to emphasize my complete and total commitment to supporting Law Enforcement,” he continued. “I messed up big time and I am truly sorry.”
Body cam footage released showed that Rios called one officer a homophobic slur before pointing out his accent. The officer said he was “originally from England,” prompting Rios to make an offhand remark.
“You’re arresting me for driving home while people come into your country and rape your women? And I’m the bad guy?” Rios said, a nod to Europe’s immigration crisis.
Rios is additionally reported as telling the officers that he would call the state’s Republican attorney general about the situation and that they would “regret picking” on him.
Under state law, both of Rios’ charges are misdemeanors. His next court date is set for Jan. 4, and The Associated Press reported that he is set to have a pretrial hearing on Feb. 5.
Luca Cacciatore | firstname.lastname@example.org
Luca Cacciatore, a Newsmax general assignment writer, is based in Arlington, Virginia, reporting on news and politics.
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