Trooper Billy Spears and rapper Snoop Dogg

A Texas state trooper is getting a bad rap for posing for a photo with a bad--legally speaking--rapper. 

While working security at annual Austin music festival South by Southwest in March, Billy Spears was asked by artist Snoop Dogg to pose for a photo, which the hip-hop star later posted to Instagram with the comment, "Me n my deputy dogg."

The photo, which shows a Stetson-sporting Spears in full trooper uniform, may have done well on social media but, what with Snoop Dogg's multiple convictions for drug possession, it bombed at the Texas Department of Public Safety

“While working a secondary employment job, Trooper Spears took a photo with a public figure who has a well-known criminal background including numerous drug charges," DPS stated in its official reprimand of Spears, who will have to undergo counseling as a result of what it says is a policy violation. "The public figure posted the photo on social media and it reflects poorly on the Agency.”

According to the Associated Press, Spears can't appeal the citation because it isn't a formal disciplinary action.

Spears' lawyer, Ty Clevenger, said the DPS' actions, formal or not, are ridiculous, and possibly even retaliatory "since (Spears) reported misconduct by an officer from another agency last year."  

"Billy did not know about Snoop Dogg’s criminal history," Clevenger wrote on his blog. "Believe it or not, some folks don’t watch TMZ or read People Magazine. And of course DPS has no policy requiring a criminal background check on everyone who requests a picture with a uniformed trooper. In fact, DPS has no policy forbidding a photograph with someone who has a criminal conviction." 

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