On June 19, two police officers in Orlando, Florida pulled over a black woman driving a white sedan. They didn’t realize she was Aramis Ayala, the state of Florida’s only black state attorney. The officers scrambled to come up with an explanation for why they had pulled her over.
The Independent received the bodycam footage of the incident. In it, one of the officers notices from Ayala’s identification that she is a public servant. He asks, “What agency are you with?” to which she replies, “I’m the state attorney.”
After this bombshell, the officers make up reasons for stopping her. First, they claim the tags of the car didn’t come back when run through the system. Next, they changed their story to that she had too much tint on her windows.
In the footage below, Ayala smirks and asks for the names of the two officers who stopped her. They become noticeably sheepish.
In a statement released on the incident, The Orlando Police Department said that, “[The Department] allows the running of tags for official business only, and this is done routinely on patrol. In regards to the video, which was released by the Orlando Police Department last month, the officers stated the tag did not come back as registered to any vehicle. As you can see in the video, the window tint was dark, and officers would not have been able to tell who, or how many people, were in the vehicle.”
Ayala is quoted as saying, “My goal is to have a constructive and mutually respectful relationship between law enforcement and the community.” She continued, “I look forward to sitting down to have an open dialogue with the Chief of Orlando Police Department regarding how this incident impacts that goal.” She released a statement denying doing anything wrong but admitting that the stop was not illegal.