One of the most widely talked about dashcam videos ever recorded on a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper’s car might soon be shown to the public.
Video of naked country music superstar Randy Travis was taken by a DPS trooper after the officer responded to the scene of a wreck on in a construction zone in Tioga back in August of 2012. Travis owns property in Tioga. Another driver had reportedly called police saying that she saw a naked man, who turned out to be Travis, laying in the street on FM Road 922. Earlier that night, a clerk at a convenience store in Pilot Point had talked to Travis as he walked into the store in his birthday suit and attempted to buy cigarettes. He didn’t get any smokes because he didn’t have a wallet and he drove off in his car.
That same car was found crashed at the construction site. Travis was booked at the Grayson County Jail and charged with suspicion of drunken driving and retaliation. He reportedly had threatened the trooper who arrested him. His blood alcohol was measured at nearly twice the legal limit. In the spring of 2013, Travis pleaded guilty to the drunken driving charge and Grayson County District Attorney Joe Brown’s office dropped the retaliation charge. In exchange for the plea, Travis was ordered to seek treatment for his drinking, put on probation for two years and charged a $2,000 fine. Travis has since completed that probation.
At that time, Travis’ attorney sought to have the dashcam video destroyed at least sealed. Grayson County Court-at-law James Henderson agreed and the DPS objected to that and appealed that decision.
A state court judge ruled that the video should be released and Travis appealed that decision. A Fort Worth Star-Telegram story said 3rd Court of Appeals Chief Justice Jeff Rose upheld the district court’s opinion and said that Travis had put himself in the public eye by driving naked while intoxicated.
“What a person knowingly exposes to the public, even in his own home or office, is not a subject of Fourth Amendment protection,’” the Star-Telegram quoted Rose as saying.
Travis appealed that ruling as well.
On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks refused Travis’ request for an injunction to keep the DPS from releasing the video.
Sparks said that Travis’ request for that injunction did “establish a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of his claims.” Sparks said the redactions to the video protect his constitutional privacy interests. He said that Travis didn’t articulate how the redactions weren’t sufficient to protect his constitutional right to privacy.
Travis’ wife, Mary Davis Travis, has started a petition to block the public release of the video on Change.org, and Randy Travis’ attorney, Martin Cirkiel has filed a motion to have the judge reconsider the issue.
Cirkiel didn’t immediately respond to an email Thursday afternoon seeking a comment on the case.