This video of police pulling over a state attorney makes an important point about race

Joe Vesey-Byrne
Thursday 13 July 2017 10:15
news

The video of a black State Attorney being pulled over by police for no obvious reason is sparking a lot of fury.

Aramis Ayala is a Florida State Attorney, the first and only black person to ever hold the role.

A State Attorney is lawyer employed by the state to prosecute cases on their behalf, in a similar way to a District Attorney.

On 19 June, Ayala was pulled over by police. Bodycam footage of the incident has since been released by the Orlando Police Department.

It shows Ayala asking why she was pulled over. The explanation given is that when the officers ran her car's tag there was no result.

This leads the next question from Ayala:

What was the tag run for?

I'm sorry?

What was the tag run for?

The officer whose footage was released explained:

Oh we run tags through all the time, whether it's a traffic light and that sort of stuff; That's how we figure out if cars are stolen and that sort of thing... Also, the windows are really dark. I don't have a tint measure but that's another reason for the stop.

Ayala takes down the officers' information and drives off. No complaint has been filed over the stop.

In a statement from the Orlanda Police Department said:

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.

They also said that the police department run tags 'for official business only, and this is done routinely on patrol'.

In a statement to the Independent the office of the State's Attorney said:

The licsense 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.

Online reaction to the video has been visceral, and many have accused the officers of racial profiling.

Ayala has made headlines in the state after her recent refusal to peruse the death penalty for Markeith Lloyd.

Lloyd is accused of murdering his pregnant ex-girlfriend Sade Dixon and Florida police officer Lieutenant Debra Clayton.

The state's governor Rick Scott has taken Ayala off the case, a decision she is disputing in the Florida Supreme Court.

In April, Ayala's office was reportedly sent a noose accompanied by a disturbing letter, and she frequently receives hate mail.

HT The Independent

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