In a video that quickly went viral, bodycam footage released this week showed Florida State Attorney Aramis Ayala getting pulled over for no apparent reason, catching a police officer’s desperate scramble to justify the stop after learning her identity. Ayala has confirmed the incident and released a statement on how she intends to follow up with the officers in question.
CNN reports that the Orlando Police Department insists tags are run routinely on patrols, for “official business only.” They say the video confirms that Ayala’s windows were dark, and police would have no idea how many people were in the car. In the video, which was shot in June, the police officer on her driver side says they ran her tags, and the license came up empty.
In a statement to the Orlando Weekly, Ayala says that though the police were acting within the boundaries of Florida law, she implies there will be a conversation about how those laws are applied:
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.
Ayala is Florida’s first and only black elected state attorney. Ayala is currently suing Governor Rick Scott, who reassigned 23 capital cases to another prosecutor, following her announcement that she would not be seeking the death penalty. According to the Orlando Sentinel, Ayala claims the removal of these cases violates the rights of voters who put her in office, and charged her with the responsibility of pursuing cases as she sees fit.