For most people of color, regular traffic stops can be a matter of life or death in the United States. For instance, just last year a white police officer fatally shot a 32-year-old year African-American gun owner after pulling him over for a broken taillight and got away scot free.
Incidents of police brutality and racial harassment continue to plague the country and seem to spare no one.
Case in point: A recently surfaced video shows two white officers from the Orlando Police Department pulling over an African-American driver and struggling to explain why they stopped her after finding out she was none other than Florida’s only black state attorney and one of the most powerful people in the state, Aramis Ayala.
The cops approached Ayala’s vehicle and stood on either sides of her car. Even though the attorney had not done anything illegal, they asked her for her ID, which she immediately provided. However, the officers’ demeanor changed as they realized who she was and the one at the driver’s side struggled to provide the reason behind the stop.
“Thank you, your tag didn't come back, never seen that before, but we're good now,” one of the officers said, clearing his throat. “We ran the tag. I've never seen it before with a Florida tag. It didn't come back to anything, so that's the reason for the stop.”
When Ayala asked, “What was the tag run for?” the officer delved into another explanation.
“Oh we run tags through all the time,” he claimed. “Whether it's a traffic light and that sort stuff, that's how we figure out if cars are stolen and that sort of thing.”
He then claimed he had also pulled her over because of her “windows are really dark.” However, he stated he did not have a “tint measure” on hand.
Ayala, who appeared increasingly annoyed yet composed, asked the officers to give her their business cards. The cop claimed he did not have one on him at the moment, but proceeded to write down his and his companion’s names and handed the paper to the attorney before she drove away.
For those unaware, Ayala is currently embroiled in a lawsuit against Gov. Rick Scott, who removed her from nearly two dozen death-penalty cases.
Watch the entire video of her traffic stop in the video above.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters