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Cops Face Racial Profiling Accusations - Didn't Realize Woman They Stopped Is State Attorney

While it may be hard to fathom in today’s day and age, racial profiling remains a very big issue that plagues police departments across the nation. Strained relations between police officers and the communities they serve are further exacerbated by the fact that some residents feel they are harassed simply for the color of the skin or how they look.

As the Independent Journal Review shares, that scenario has played out yet again in Orlando, Florida, but the driver in question wasn’t just a random citizen that was pulled over for no reason. The driver in question is Florida State Attorney Aramis Ayala, who just so happens to be black.

Dashcam footage of the incident has been released. Ayala was pulled over by two white police officers, and she wanted to know why. She identified herself as a state attorney, and an awkward back and forth ensued.

“Thank you, your tag didn't come back, never seen that before, but we're good now. We ran the tag, I've never seen it before with a Florida tag, it didn't come back to anything, so that's the reason for the stop,” said one officer.

That wasn’t a solid enough explanation for her, so she pressed for some additional details.

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

The visibly annoyed woman asked the officer for some identification at that point.

“One second… actually, this isn't my car but I can write my name down,” the cop said. “There you are, have a good day," he is heard saying, as the attorney drives away.

Ayala drove away from that point, but she didn’t let the matter rest. She has accused the officers of racially profiling her. The Orlando Police Department has been transparent about the incident and posted the video online. No word on whether the matter will be pursued further, but it doesn’t seem like an incident that’s just going to go away.

There’s a lot to unpack here, and the video is, of course, open to interpretation. Leaving race out of the equation for a moment, anyone with tinted windows knows that they run the risk of being pulled over by curious officers. That may be inconvenient and an annoyance, but it’s a stone-cold fact that motorists simply need to come to terms with.

Beyond that, we would expect that the officers will be fully interviewed about what their intentions were. If there’s even a hint that their actions were racially motivated, they should be dealt with swiftly. The right probing questions can expose that in a heartbeat, and perhaps the department should seriously consider using a completely independent and unbiased questioner in the interest of full transparency.

Source: Independent Journal Review, Daily Mail
Photo: Orlando Police Department

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