Kansas City Police Officer Loses License After Viral Video Allegedly Showed Him 'High' on Duty

Kansas City police officer
Stills from the video shared by the Kansas City Defender. YouTube

An officer with the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department lost his law enforcement license after a video showed the officer appearing 'high' while on duty last year.

As previously reported, in January 2023, Officer James Shepherd was called to an apartment complex over a custody dispute. While responding to the call, someone at the residence believed Shepherd was acting odd and started recording a video of him.

Video Showed Shepherd Acting Erratically, Slurring, Blinking Constantly

The video, shared by the Kansas City Defender on Jan. 22 last year, showed Shepherd steadying himself against a railing on a wall, making strange gestures with his hands, blinking incessantly and slurring his words.

"Hey, if I held my finger up and told you to follow my finger, could you do it?" the person filming the video asks Officer Shepherd, who identifies himself with his name and badge number. When the officer responds with something unintelligible, the person recording can be heard saying, "You're high as s**t, dude." Watch the video below:

Department Initially Said Officer Shepherd Had a Medical Condition

While addressing the video, KCKPD said Officer Shepherd had been placed on leave pending an investigation but had attributed his behavior to a "medical condition."

"While still early in the investigation, preliminary information indicates that a medical condition may have been a factor in the officer's appearance," the department said at the time.

KCKPD now says Shepherd's behavior was investigated, and due to insufficient evidence, all criminal charges were declined.

However, the Kansas Commission on Peace Officers scheduled an interview with Shepherd to determine whether he was suitable to serve in law enforcement, specifically to evaluate if Shepherd used any prescription-only drug that could affect his skill or judgment while on duty.

Shepherd agreed to an interview with an investigator but kept rescheduling it, ultimately leading to commission to determine that he was not co-operating with the investigation. This resulted in the revocation of his law enforcement certification.