Texas DPS Trooper ordered to counseling over Snoop Dogg photo

A Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper has been sent to counseling for being in a photo with rap star Snoop Dogg.

Trooper Billy Spears was working security when Snoop Dogg was the keynote speaker during the music portion of the annual South by Southwest festival.

Spears' attorney, Ty Clevenger, said the rapper approached the trooper and asked for a quick photo. DPS officials later saw a photo of Spears and the rapper on Snoop Dogg's official Instagram account.

Clevenger said DPS cited Spears for "deficiencies that require counseling for posing with a known criminal."

"It goes in his personnel file. It's permanent and it can count against him for advancement and promotion," Clevenger told FOX4. "I know DPS says its not discipline... but it is discipline."

Snoop Dogg has been convicted multiple times for drug possession and hasn't made a secret of his use of marijuana. The rapper also faced a murder charge in 1993 when his bodyguard shot and killed a rival gang member, but both were acquitted.

Clevenger said the trooper didn't even know who Snoop Dogg was when his publicist took the photo of the two.

Spears is a 30-year veteran of the department and is still working.

The Austin Police Department didn't have a problem when Snoop Dogg recently posed with an on-duty officer.

His lawyer claims the photo controversy stems from an incident last year when spears reported an officer from a different agency for misconduct.

"When Billy walked in to receive the counseling form, his sergeant turned him around and looked at his back and said, ‘I want to see if there is a target on your back,'" said Clevenger. "So, even his immediate supervisors know this is immediate retaliation."

The Department of Public Safety refused to comment on this incident because it's personnel-related.

Spears' lawyer says he emailed Snoop's publicist about the incident, but has not heard back and is considering filing a lawsuit against DPS.

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