On June 19th, at around 8:14 p.m. two Orlando police officers pulled over Aramis Ayala, Florida’s first African-American elected state attorney. She is currently suing Governor Rick Scott.
In the video below you can hear that the two white officers can’t quite explain adequately to Ayala why she’s been stopped:
“Thank you, your tag didn’t come back, never seen that before, but we’re good now. 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…”
No one is sure why the video surfaced on social media but shouts of racial profiling have started coming in. In fact, Shaun King, a senior justice writer for the New York Daily News, who also shared the video to his social media accounts,
“Watch as @OrlandoPolice struggle to give one reasonable explanation for why they just pulled over the only Black state’s attorney in Florida” 2
Since announcing that she would not pursue the death penalty for the accused cop killer Markieth Loyd, Ayala has received a lot of negative attention. And likely in response to that action, the governor has removed her from nearly two dozen death-penalty cases (including Loyd’s). Thus, her lawsuit in both federal and state courts.
Ayala had this to say about being pulled over:
I was pulled over by Orlando Police department on June 19th in Parramore after leaving FAMU Law School, where I taught in the evening. After public records request, the video was released by the Orlando Police Department. Since its release, the video has had more than 2 million views and produced a flood of misinformation. Including the filing of a lawsuit which is not true.
To be clear, I violated no laws. The license plate, while confidential was and remains properly registered. The tint was in no way a violation of Florida law. Although the traffic stop appears to be consistent with Florida law. My goal is to have a constructive and mutually respectful relationship between law enforcement and the community.
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.
-State Attorney Ayala 3