A Florida state attorney who was pulled over in a traffic stop said she hopes to use the incident as a teachable moment for police.
Aramis Ayala, Florida’s first and only black elected state attorney, has been no stranger to controversy since taking office as head of the 9th Judicial District, which covers Orange and Osceola counties.
After she announced in March that she no longer intends to pursue the death penalty, Gov. Rick Scott removed her office from 21 first-degree murder cases, including the trial of accused police killer Markeith Lloyd.
The move prompted an ongoing lawsuit about whether Scott’s decision was justified.
Now, Ayala is back in the spotlight after footage surfaced of Orlando Police pulling her over in a June 19 traffic stop. It lasts little more than a minute after two officers find out who she is, prompting some social media users to suggest racial bias was at play. Ayala and Orlando Police characterized the stop as lawful.
“What agency are you with?” the officer with the body camera asks as he looks at her identification.
“I’m the state attorney” she responds, kicking off a terse exchange.
The officer tells Ayala that he and his partner pulled her over after a check of her license plate came up empty. She asks what the tag was run for and he tells her they run tags all the time.
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