The dash and body camera video showing Florida’s first black state attorney, Aramis Ayala, getting pulled over by Orlando police on June 19 went viral Wednesday.
The interaction between the attorney and police, which starts at 1:08, begins with Ayala giving the officer her license. After discovering her occupation, the officer quickly informs her she is free to go before telling Ayala her car’s tag “did not come back to anything.” When Ayala asks what her tag had been checked for, the officer responds by saying that they “run tags all the time,” stumbling over a few of his words. He then adds, somewhat nervously, that her windows were “really dark,” despite them not having a tint measurer. Ayala, visibly annoyed, then asks for the officer’s card. After realizing he does not have one, he agrees to write his name down for her, clearing his throat anxiously while doing so.
Many have branded the incident as racial profiling, wondering why Ayala had been pulled over despite not violating any traffic laws. In an interview with Orlando Weekly, Ayala asserted that her license, while confidential, had been registered and her window tint was in line with Florida law. She added, however, that while “the traffic stop appears to be consistent with Florida law”, “[her] goal is to have a constructive and mutually respectful relationship between law enforcement and the community.”
Orlando Police responded in a statement, defending its officers’ stop: “The Orlando Police Department allows the running of tags for official business only, and this is done routinely on patrol. 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.”
[Video and Image Via Orlando Police Department]