Police Chief Mary O’Connor in Tampa, Florida, has been forced to resign after leaked body cam footage of a traffic stop. The footage shows O’Connor and her husband being pulled over in a golf buggy and O’Connor flashing her police badge to get out of the incident.
Officials are now calling for a full investigation for the situation that happened on 12th November. The on-duty police officer pulled O’Connor and her husband over for driving the golf buggy without a licence plate on the road. One of the first things that O’Connor asks the officer is if their body camera is turned on. She then goes on to say “I’m the police chief in Tampa, I’m hoping that you’ll just let us go today” as she is getting her police badge out of her bag.
The situation from there changes very quickly with the on-duty officer shaking the chief’s hand and wishing them a good night. However, what happens next is what has infuriated locals even more. Before the officer returns to their police car, O’Connor hands him a business card and says “if you ever need anything, call me… seriously.”
Since the footage of the incident was released on 1st December, Mayor Jane Castor called for O’Connor to resign, which is what she has done. Castor said in a statement:
“The Tampa Police Department has a code of conduct that includes high standards for ethical and professional behavior that apply to every member of our police force. As the Chief of Police, you are not only to abide by and enforce those standards but to also lead by example. That clearly did not happen in this case.”
O’Connor explained in her resignation:
“I would never want my personal mistake to stand in the way of the progress I have made in mending relationships between the police department and the community, so for that reason, I am resigning.”