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VIDEO: State Attorney Aramis Ayala Racially Profiled By Orlando Police?

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) — Being one of the most recognizable state attorneys in Florida didn’t prevent Orange-Osecola State Attorney Aramis Ayala from being a victim of racial profiling by Orlando Police on June 19, 2017 at approximately 8:14pm.

In 2016, Ayala became Florida’s first black State Attorney elected to public office and recently made national news when she announced that her office would no longer pursue the death penalty.

However, a recent video appeared showing State Attorney Ayala being pulled over by Orlando Police officers in an unmarked police vehicle with red and blue lights flashing. There are five major things wrong with this traffic stop.

 

WRONG #1: IGNORANCE OF PRIVACY LAWS FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT & PUBLIC OFFICIALS

News flash: State Attorney Ayala is a public official and the 9th Judicial Circuit’s chief law enforcement officer.

The video shows the officer approaching State Attorney Ayala’s vehicle wearing a body-cam. He stated that he pulled Ayala over for having a license plate registered with no identifying information when he ran her tag with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). He claimed he never encountered this before. When State Attorney Ayala asked why her plate was run, he told her they run plates all the time, and made sure to note: “That’s how we figure out if vehicles are stolen, that sort of thing…”

Okay. State Attorney Ayala is driving a Ford Fusion. Who would steal that? And why would she?

Anyway, it is not uncommon for current and former sworn or civilian law enforcement personnel, public officials, including state attorneys to apply with the DHSMV to withhold personal information contained in their driver’s license and vehicle, pursuant to section 119.071, Florida Statutes.

Pursuant to section 119.071(4)(d)8., Florida Statutes:

“An agency that is the custodian of the personal information specified [in these subparagraphs] . . . shall maintain the exempt status of the personal information only if the officer, employee, justice, judge, other person, or employing agency of the designated employee submits a written request for maintenance of the exemption to the custodial agency.”  See AGO 2008-29

It appears State Attorney Ayala requested the DHSMV to protect her personal information, including information connected to her vehicle’s license plate.

If she didn’t violate any traffic laws, what other reason could there be for her getting pulled over by Orlando Police?

 

WRONG #2: PARTNER OUT FIRST, BODY CAM LAST = SAFETY ISSUE

The second OPD officer arrives at State Attorney Ayala’s car before the body cam officer does during the traffic stop. Image taken from OPD body cam video June 19, 2017.

These officers apparently said, “to hell with Policy and Procedures” for this traffic stop. In the video, by the time the officer wearing the body camera steps out of the unmarked police truck, his partner is already at State Attorney Ayala’s passenger side window (above). Why?

The second OPD officer retreats backwards to the unmarked police vehicle during State Attorney Ayala’s traffic stop. Image taken from OPd body cam video June 19, 2017.

The officer wearing the body camera was the one at the wheel and the one who appeared to turn his lights on in order for State Attorney Ayala to pull over. While in the truck, he told the second officer, “You go, and I’ll stay here.” Why would he let his partner get out first? This move potentially put State Attorney Ayala and OPD in harm’s way because anything could’ve happened between the second officer and State Attorney Ayala in the seconds it took the body cam officer to reach the car. The public doesn’t have any information on what took place in those seconds because we don’t yet know if that second officer was wearing a body camera of his own. This is clearly disturbing.

 

WRONG #3: EXPOSING STATE ATTORNEY AYALA’S DRIVER LICENSE

Firstly, according to the video, it isn’t apparent if the officer asks State Attorney Ayala for her driver license and vehicle registration per standard procedure. (If the second officer asked, we won’t know because he was at her window first and we currently have no footage of their conversation.)

But here’s what’s worse: At the end of the video, we see that OPD blurred State Attorney Ayala’s vehicle plate. However, when the body camera officer received her driver license, it was never blurred out, which puts State Attorney Ayala and her family in harm’s way by exposing her personal information, and ultimately defeated the purpose of Section 119.071 of the Florida Statutes. If you blur out a person’s tag, why would you not blur out her personal identification information? It appears this move was deliberate.

 

WRONG #4: THE WINDOW TINTING PRETEXT

The officer additionally mentioned that State Attorney Ayala’s windows were “really dark,” but struggled to cover himself by saying he didn’t have a tint measurer. Look carefully at her vehicle’s rear window in the image below, through which one can glimpse the officer’s partner on the other side. His comment on that was an unforced error.

State Attorney Aramis Ayala being pulled over by Orlando Police. Image taken from Orlando Police Department body cam video June 19, 2017.

Even State Attorney Ayala knew he was in the wrong–she smirked to herself as he stumbled through his words.

State Attorney Aramis Ayala smirks during a traffic stop as the OPD officer accuses her of having “really dark” windows. Image taken from OPD body cam video June 19, 2017.

 

WRONG #5: NEITHER OFFICER HAD CONTACT CARDS

As any diligent citizen would do, State Attorney Ayala requested that both officers furnish their contact cards. Neither officer did. The body cam officer was about to move off, but then explained that he had none because the unmarked vehicle he was driving wasn’t his vehicle.

Under normal circumstances, any civilian that would’ve requested the officers’ information would’ve been charged with resisting without violence (RWOV). However, given whom the officers pulled over, they didn’t try that.

As if all that wasn’t awkward enough, look in the lower right corner of the video and take note of the date on which it happened: June 19, 2017.

Juneteenth.

African Americans are becoming increasingly more aware of the significance of this date in American history as their true “independence day” instead of July 4…but so is the rest of the nation, and not all knowledge is used with good intentions.

 

WHAT OPD SHOULD DO NEXT

First, these officers need more training regarding OPD body camera procedure. Second, OPD needs to take steps to ensure drivers’ privacy rights are protected, the first of which should be taking this video down and correcting it to have State Attorney Ayala’s driver license information blurred to assure she has the full protection she applied for under Section 119.071 of the Florida Statutes.

 

SILVER LINING: AT LEAST EVERYONE CAME OUT ALIVE

Let’s be real. If the driver were any other civilian of color in the same situation, the person would’ve likely been seriously injured, arrested, or killed. Thank God that didn’t happen.

 

________________________________________________

Willie David is the Founder and Publisher of Florida National News. | news@floridanationalnews.com

21 comments

  1. Dr. T. Lucas Adams Th D Reply

    Good Article Willie David.

  2. Trayne Reply

    Written with a slight overtone of prejuidce toward the white officers…..but nonetheless a good article…..I feel there is no place in the world for racial profiling…..I also feel our police need lots more training in being able to handle situations…

    If the driver were any other civilian of color in the same situation, the person would’ve likely been seriously injured, arrested, or killed. Although this might be your thought Willie David…it was not needed or warented in the article

    1. Keisha Reply

      Yet, since statistics say differently when it comes to racial profiling then let the writer prove his point. He obviously has lots of evidence to back his stance. Ex. Trayvonne Martin, Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Alton Sterling, and Philandro Castile

    2. Victor Reply

      Stop it please. How many more dead black unarmed people do you need before YOU acknowledge the same prejudice we face as black people. Like really and truly what did blacks honestly do to whites to get such treatment? This type of stuff shouldn’t be happening to ANYONE OF ANY COLOR PERIOD. HUMAN RACE IS THE ONLY RACE.

    3. Will Reply

      Prejudice is defined as a preconceived opinion about someone/something that one having the opinion has no experience with. Those officers have had experienced with pulling over women/person’s of color so no, the author’s statement is not prejudiced by definition.

      If the situation was the opposite and you were the driver, would you tell your significant other or co-workers the story the same way or would it be “it was a non-eventful traffic stop.” Regrettably it’s not like that in some communities but when “incidents” don’t occur in yours then it’s imagined. Yet when a Presidential candidate shouts, ” that he wishes it was like the old days where they were carried out of here!” Where were your observations of prejudice then?

    4. Molon Labe Reply

      His comments were needed and definitely warranted. Black people seem to die more frequently in these types of pretext stops. Non Black people are increasingly unconcerned about this reality.

    5. Ashanta Reply

      It was warranted. It is the truth. Had she been any other citizen she would have indeed been subject to arrest and possibly bodily harm especially when she requested the contact card.

    6. George Melvin Via Reply

      Well police officers don’t seem to need retraining to avoid harassing white people. Waiting for your response.

    7. Sher Reply

      How do you conclude that the article was written with even a hint of prejudice, Trayne?

  3. Orlando Threatt Reply

    Make no mistake about one other thing, brothers and sisters, when you have the knowledge about things such as this, life is a whole lot safer for you. Thanks to the article and explanation, I can see the officer knowing States Atty. Ayala before the stop, and decided to let her know he didn’t like her views. Either way, even though this police officer was trying to enforce the laws, good policeman and all that, he too could be torn between policing the hood and Law Enforcement. Their is a difference. Let’s remain thankful for this outcome, and hope that she uses what she knows, and what we have seen to make changes, especially in the pockets. One she decided to fight, I am sure she knew, and knows how (different ), was going to be received.

  4. Raphael Ashanti Reply

    “Do you guys have cards on you?” …It was at that moment when the officers knew THEY FKD UP!

    1. HW Reply

      He was aaah nah, but I can write it down. You know he was fudging some them numbers while he slowly peed his pants.

  5. Scared forBlacklives Reply

    Having a Title means nothing. I hope and pray she remains alive. It seem like skin color had now become mark mission towards operation elimination. Her info was exposed although they knew who she was once they ran the plate.

  6. Christopher Burns Reply

    The Windows were to Dark,I would have Her and anybody else over on that alone.

  7. Concerned black veteran Reply

    It’s no secret the KKK has infiltrated many police departments throughout the country. Add to that TRUMP and thousands will die at the hands of the police.
    In the context of police brutality….black lives really don’t matter.

  8. Fasimbas Reply

    Well, if one really wishes to know how justice is administered in a country, one does not question the policemen, the lawyers, the judges, or the protected members of the middle class. One goes to the unprotected—those, precisely, who need the law’s protection most!—and listens to their testimony. Ask any Mexican, any Puerto Rican, any black man, any poor person—ask the wretched how they fare in the halls of justice, and then you will know, not whether or not the country is just, but whether or not it has any love for justice, or any concept of it. It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.

  9. Melvin Reply

    Be real folks we all know how bad some cops are. Stop making excuses for them. Some think they are Jesus but We know that they will have to answer to Him when it’s all over. Ijs!!!!

  10. Eddie Reply

    Wrong#5
    You never rip any page out of a patrol booklet as, it will become part of an investigation and your ass will be made to look like an idiot. Defense attornies love that and will say anything and make it stick because, you wee foolish enough to rip a page out

  11. Mae Brown Reply

    We must understand, we are in system of White Sumpremacy, and we are captured. So, not if but when we are stopped it is a grave not great possibility that we are being stopped by “Race Soldiers.” Don’t fight, don’t fuss, and don’t flee. It’s a code, the could save your life. *Listen to Mr. Nearly Fuller on Pod cast or live talktainmentradio.com Compenstory Concept (Live) on Wedensday
    9-11 AM. ✊

  12. Robert Reply

    The racial bias in this article and comments is pretty amazing. The officers likely had no idea about the race or gender of the driver before they pulled her over. They were very polite and ended the stop as soon as they confirmed who she was. How did they screw up? The points and conclusions in this article don’t add up. You made points followed by your opinion and claim them as facts. That’s not how legal things work.

    The comment that included Mike Browns name as evidence of racial bias. That takes a very special kind of ignorance and is one of the reasons efforts to fight actual racial bias have a hard time getting support. You can’t include someone who was killed while trying to murder a cop. Maybe you need to go back and learn the facts on that one. A lot of information came out after the 1st hour of misinformation.

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