Bodycam Captures Tampa Police Chief Using Position To Get Out of Traffic Violation

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Tampa, Florida — On Novomber 12, 2022, Tampa Police Chief Mary O’Connor and her spouse were stopped by a Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office deputy while riding in a golf cart without a license plate outside of a residential area in Oldsmar. In the video, the deputy can be heard explaining to the couple that they were pulled over for driving an unlicensed vehicle without the tag on it on the roadway. During the stop, O’Connor asked the deputy, who was not identified, if his body-worn camera was recording. The deputy responded. “it is.” O’Connor then stated, “I’m the police chief in Tampa,” while flashing her law enforcement badge. “I’m hoping you’ll just let us go tonight,” she added. The deputy said he thought he recognized O’Connor, who has been chief of the Department since February 2022. “If you ever need anything, call me,” O’Connor said on video, handing the deputy her card. “Seriously.” The couple were let go. O’Connor apologized for her actions and, as recently in her latest statement, said she recognizes her mistakes and has learned from them.

Statement from Chief Mary O’Connor:
“It was poor judgment on our part to be driving a golf cart on a public roadway without the appropriate tags. This was the first time we had exited the golf-cart friendly community in which we own property with this vehicle, prompting the need for a license plate. In hindsight, I realize how my handling of this matter could be viewed as inappropriate, but that was certainly not my intent. I knew my conversation was on video, and my motive was not to put the deputy in an uncomfortable position. I have personally called the Pinellas County Sheriff offering to pay for any potential citation. I have expressed great remorse to the Mayor, and I apologize to the residents of Tampa who have a reasonable expectation of better judgment from their chief of police. As someone who has dealt with, taken ownership of and grown from my past mistakes, I know that no one is above the law, including me.”

Statement from Mayor Jane Castor:
“We hold everyone accountable, no matter their position, and this behavior was unacceptable. Chief O’Connor will go through the due process and face appropriate discipline.

The Tampa Police Department says O’Connor has voluntarily reached out to the Tampa Police Professional Standards Bureau asking to receive the same discipline that any officer would receive for similar conduct. An internal review of the incident is underway.

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32 thoughts on “Bodycam Captures Tampa Police Chief Using Position To Get Out of Traffic Violation

  1. Crime of the Century is an outstanding album by Supertramp. There is nothing to see here. The Club House was closed, what were they supposed to do, find another way in. Stay calm and carry on.

  2. So that´s how those police misconduct -cases go unpunished.
    You scratch my back, I scratch yours.

    Those corrupt f*ks.
    And those "few good apples" are just silent which is even worse

  3. I think you guys are overreacting on this one , i feel like in most cases if you’re nice to the cop they’ll give you warning for something like this or tell you to just go home , it’s happened to me multiple times and I’m a member of the minority club , however I didn’t like that the cop was just scared of her , he could of cited her like every one else and not put both their jobs on the line but instead he did this , which tells me there’s something deeper we need go look at .

  4. There's two ways to look at this. Of course, IN FACT all of us would want a world in which such liberties, or AT LEAST the liberty to judge situations by one's own 'ratio' would be possible. Simply in the name of bringing some (more) pleasure into life and making it more enjoyable. That was thought one. The other thought is, how in the world do you WHEN YOU ARE A POLICE CHIEF not make up your mind and either not do something like this, OR declare that from now on your will go full anarchy mode in the name of what I have stated above, and no longer enforce fines and the like on ANYONE for things like this! ESPECIALLY when one works on a side that actively disallows (denies) others that pleasure that comes with the right to do things as one would like it, for instance a thing like this, one can not claim the nicities in life only for oneself, that is selfish.

  5. Meh. People make mistakes. This one was harmless. She owned up to it.
    Those people calling for her job and cancel culture can go F themselves.
    Seriously, when will this holier-than-thou, unforgiving nonsense ever end?

  6. People will sell their souls for a bag of beans. That ticket would not have been $50, But for the ego rush she compromises all her integrity. "I'm sure you do."

  7. A responsible and ethical leader would have said, "please cite me for my violation." Imagine how much better it would have gone for her in the long run.

  8. If ever you get a chance to visit the City of Tampa and happen to get stopped by the police, the first thing you should say is, “I’m a person who saw the video of your Police Chief and I hope you just let me go.” Then promptly bring this video up on your phone and present it to the officer like she did her badge.

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