Should someone’s past define our perception of their future? A Texas state trooper has recently faced punitive measures from the Department of Public Safety for posing in a picture with rapper Snoop Dogg. State Trooper Billy Spears worked security for the SXSW music festival when the rapper approached him to take a selfie. The rapper posted the photo to his personal Instagram account, captioning the photo “Me n my deputy Dogg” in reference to Spears.


Snoop Dogg charity event

Snoop Dogg at a charity event (

Spears’ superiors caught wind of the incident and mandated the Spears must undergo counseling because associating with Snoop Dogg “reflects poorly” on the agency. The citation issued toward Spears does not fall under the agencies official disciplinary actions, so Spears has no recourse to appeal.


If this seems like an overreaction, that is probably because it is. The ruling ignores Snoop Dogg’s philanthropic endeavors and generally positive public perception these days, instead choosing to focus only on his criminal record. Spears’ attorney spoke on the officer’s behalf, explaining that Spears had no knowledge of the rapper’s criminal past; he merely accepted the offer for a photo as it was requested. He did not solicit Snoop Dogg for the photo, take it, or disseminate it across any social media platforms.


Many celebrities have had what could only be referred to as rocky encounters with the police lately. The rapper’s social media olive branch could have made this a heartwarming story of acceptance. Instead, we have been treated with another unreasonable, antagonistic decision from a law enforcement agency.


What do you think of the actions taken by the Texas State Troopers? Do you think it was justified? Let’s talk here, or find me on Twitter @connerws