The Crusader Newspaper Group

Black Florida State Attorney pulled over in traffic stop, prompting criticism

By Kalhan Rosenblatt,

Video of Florida’s only black state attorney being pulled over by two white police officers prompted criticism after it was published to the Orlando Police Department’s YouTube page on Wednesday.

The nearly three-minute video — which has been viewed on YouTube more than 228,000 times and shared through social media thousands times more — shows State Attorney Aramis Ayala being pulled over by two unidentified officers.

Ayala had just finished teaching a law class at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, a historically black university, when the traffic stop took place.

An officer is seen exiting an unmarked police vehicle with its lights flashing and approaching a white sedan as the clip begins.

As the officer approaches the car, he takes a driver license from Ayala, who remains face-forward.

“What agency are you with?” the officer asks.

“I’m the state attorney,” Ayala responds.

The officer then tells Ayala that the license plate on her car did not come back as registered to any vehicle when the plate was run. The officer says he’s never seen a license plate not return a registration before.

“What was the tag run for?” Ayala asks. The officer tells her that it’s routine to run plates.

“That’s how we figure out if cars are stolen,” the officer says.

As he begins to explain that Ayala’s windows are “really dark” as another reason for the traffic stop, the state attorney seems to smile uncomfortably.

“You guys have cards on you?” Ayala asks. The officer writes both his and his partner’s name down on a piece of paper and gives it to Ayala before telling her to have a good day. The video then ends.

After the video was published, prominent activists tweeted out their questions and criticisms of the traffic stop.


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