Tampa Police Chief Resigns After Flashing Badge During Traffic Stop
Mary O’Connor resigned her position as police chief of Tampa, Florida, after bodycam footage showed her using her police badge to get out of a traffic stop while driving an unmarked golf cart on November 12.
Bodycam footage shows an officer, identified by local media as a Pinellas County sheriff’s deputy, approaching a golf cart outside a bank in Palm Harbor. The officer explains that he stopped the vehicle because it was driving with no tag.
O’Connor, seen in the footage sitting in the passenger seat next to her husband, asks: “Is your camera on?” which the deputy confirms. O’Connor then says: “I’m the police chief of Tampa,” adding, “I’m hoping you’ll let us go tonight.”
Toward the end of the stop, O’Connor hands the deputy her business card, saying, “If you ever need anything, call me – serious.”
According to a police disposition, O’Connor and her husband were let go with a verbal warning.
O’Connor brought the incident to the attention of Tampa City Mayor Jane Castor on November 30, according to a police disposition. An internal investigation was opened and O’Connor was placed on administrative leave on December 2.
On December 4, the internal investigation found that O’Connor had violated Tampa Police Department policy during the traffic stop. She had resigned by December 5, the City of Tampa said. Credit: Tampa Police Department via Storyful
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