Entertainment And News

Florida Cop Caught On Body-Cam Pulling Gun On Pregnant Woman

Photo: YouTube
Ebony Washington

A Florida police officer has resigned after his behavior during a routine traffic stop on August 12 caused outrage online.

Deputy Jacob DeSue, a white sheriff in Bradford County, has been widely criticized for his treatment of a Black woman during the encounter.

Body-cam video shows the Florida officer pulling his gun on the pregnant Black woman.

“If you make any movement, that’ll be your last mistake you’re going to make," DeSue can be heard saying as he shouts at Ebony Washington before approaching her car with his gun drawn.

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When Washington emerges from her car with her hands raised, she tells DeSue that she is pregnant and has her three kids in the car, explaining that she didn't immediately stop because she didn't want to pull over "in the middle of nowhere."

“Your excuse means nothing to me right now. I don’t want to hear it,” DeSue retorts.

When the deputy gets Washington to turn around and handcuffs her, she claims she has “never been pulled over like this before.”

Another officer arrives at the scene and checks on Washington’s children. The terrified mother explains, again, to that officer why she didn't stop. She then apologizes and says it wasn’t the best decision. 

By the end of the publicly available footage, tensions seem to de-escalate.

Desue takes her back to the car and uncuffs her, saying he will write up a citation for unlawful speed.

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"I was so nervous. I was so scared. I mean, the gun part was extreme for me,” Washington told WTLV of Jacksonville after the incident went viral.

DeSue was attempting to stop Washington on the highway as she was accused of driving 75 mph in a 55-mph zone just before midnight on August 12.

Sheriff Gordon Smith told WTLV of Jacksonville that Washington did nothing wrong and everything right as Deputy DeSue handled the situation poorly.

“She does exactly what I would tell my daughter, my wife, my neighbor, anybody else that may feel uncomfortable: You reduce your speed, you turn on your flashing lights, be acknowledged," Smith said.

“I am disturbed and disheartened how Jacob DeSue handled the traffic stop,” Smith said in a statement sent to McClatchy News. “She responded in a manner that was totally understandable in this circumstance. Jacob DeSue should have de-escalated the situation(,) but disappointingly was unable to respond in the appropriate manner.”

The incident has added to the conversation, which has been ongoing for years, about lack of police training and officers' failures to de-escalate situations. While this should never have happened to Washington or her children, she has been more fortunate than many other Black people who have lost their lives because of police failures. 

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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Keep up with his rants about current events on his Twitter.

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