Two white police officers have been accused of racial profiling after they pulled over Florida's only black state attorney and had trouble explaining why (video below).
In footage from June 19 that was later posted online by the Orlando Police Department, the two officers walk toward Florida State Attorney Aramis Ayala's car after she was pulled over, Daily Mail reports.
As Ayala pulls out her license and shows it to the officer, Ayala tells the police what her job is, and they try to explain why they had pulled her over.
"Thank you, your tag didn't come back, never seen that before, but we're good now," says the officer. "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."
When Ayala asks what the stop was for, the officer gives a strange explanation in which he mentions that her windows are too dark.
"Oh, we run tags 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," says the officer. "Also, the windows are really dark, I don't have a tint measurer but that's another reason for the stop."
Ayala asks the officers if they have identification cards on them, and one writes his name down on a notepad. The attorney takes the man's name as she drives away.
Social justice activNew York Daily News writer Shaun King posted about the exchange on Twitter, writing that the officers "[struggled] to give one reasonable explanation" for the stop, Orlando Weekly reports.
In a statement, Ayala said that the video had 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," said Ayala in the statement. "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."
Ayala sparked a controversy in March when she said that she would not be pursuing the death penalty for Markeith Loyd, who faces 11 charges, including murder charges, for the deaths of his pregnant girlfriend, Sade Dixon, and Lt. Debra Clayton of the Orlando police, according to CNN.
Officials in Florida, including the Orlando police chief, criticized Ayala for the announcement, and Gov. Rick Scott called on her to recuse herself from the case.
When she refused to recuse herself, Ayala was removed from the case and it was reassigned to a different attorney.
"[Ayala] has made it clear that she will not fight for justice and that is why I am using my executive authority to immediately reassign the case to State Attorney Brad King," said Gov. Scott in a statement. "These families deserve a state attorney who will aggressively prosecute Markeith Loyd to the fullest extent of the law and justice must be served."