High Florida cop faces probe for pulling rank on deputy who stopped her for breaking legislation in golf cart


The police chief of 1 Florida‘s largest cities has been placed on administrative go away after she requested a deputy to look the opposite manner when she was driving a golf cart on the highway illegally.

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Tampa Police Chief Mary O’Connor was recorded on physique cam footage making an attempt to make use of her place to get out of a visitors cease with Deputy Larry Jacoby.

O’Connor, who in 1995 was kicked off the drive after an incident the place she was charged with assault, obstruction and disorderly intoxication, was driving the cart on a public highway in Pinellas County with out a license on November 12 at 7.30pm.

She and her husband Keith O’Connor have been stopped by Jacoby, earlier than she requested him: ‘Is your digicam on?’

When Jacoby confirmed it was, O’Connor mentioned: ‘I am the police chief from Tampa… I am hoping that you’re going to simply allow us to go tonight.’ 

O’Connor, who in 1995 was kicked off the drive after an incident the place she was charged with assault, obstruction and disorderly intoxication, was driving the golf cart on a public highway in Pinellas County with out a license on November 12 at round 7:30 p.m.

She and her husband Keith O'Connor were stopped by Jacoby when she asks him: 'Is your camera on?' When Jacoby affirms, O'Connor says: 'I'm the police chief from Tampa... I'm hoping that you'll just let us go tonight'

She and her husband Keith O’Connor have been stopped by Jacoby when she asks him: ‘Is your digicam on?’ When Jacoby affirms, O’Connor says: ‘I am the police chief from Tampa… I am hoping that you’re going to simply allow us to go tonight’

Jacoby mentioned he thought he acknowledged O’Connor and let her and her husband go after a handshake.

O’Connor left him together with her card and a message as they drove away: ‘In the event you ever want something name me – severe.’

Native reporters had tried to get the footage, which cops claimed to not have, for weeks earlier than it was lastly launched on Thursday.

The footage lastly got here out with a message from O’Connor, writing: ‘I need you to listen to it from me first previous to information tales circulating.’

She added: ‘This was the primary time we had ever taken the golf cart onto a public roadway, prompting the necessity for a license plate.

‘Throughout our dialog with the deputy, which I knew was being recorded on body-worn digicam, I exploit poor judgment by noting my place on the Tampa Police Division and asking him for for forgiveness for our mistake.’

Police Chief Mary O'Connor was spotted on body cam footage attempting to use her position to get out of a traffic stop

Police Chief Mary O’Connor was noticed on physique cam footage making an attempt to make use of her place to get out of a visitors cease

Deputy Larry Jacoby (pictured right) stopped O'Connor and her husband Keith

Deputy Larry Jacoby (pictured proper) stopped O’Connor and her husband Keith

O’Connor claimed that whereas ‘in hindsight’ the interplay may very well be ‘considered as inappropriate, that was actually not my intent.’

The chief is ‘remorseful’ and has supplied to pay for any potential quotation, whereas additionally apologizing to Mayor Jane Castor and ‘to you workers of our police division as properly.’ 

By Friday, Castor – a former Tampa police chief herself – tweeted: ‘Police Chief Mary O’Connor has been positioned on administrative go away pending the result of an investigation right into a current visitors cease. Assistant Chief Lee Bercaw is serving as performing chief.’ 

She has additionally requested Tampa Police’s Skilled Requirements Bureau to present her the identical self-discipline any officer would get for comparable conduct.

Whereas it is unclear if Tampa PD will sanction her, driving on a roadway with out a license is a second diploma misdemeanor punishable by as much as 60 days in jail and a $500 nice, based on Inventive Loafing Tampa Bay.

The chief is 'remorseful' and has offered to pay for any potential citation, while also apologizing to Mayor Jane Castor (pictured) and 'to you employees of our police department as well'

The chief is ‘remorseful’ and has supplied to pay for any potential quotation, whereas additionally apologizing to Mayor Jane Castor (pictured) and ‘to you workers of our police division as properly’

Assistant Chief Lee Bercaw is serving as acting chief

Assistant Chief Lee Bercaw is serving as performing chief

In 1995 O’Connor – then Mary Minter – was a passenger when her then-boyfriend and future husband Keith O’Connor have been pulled over on suspicion of DUI. 

Keith O’Connor was charged with drunk driving, however Chief O’Connor was charged with assault on an officer, obstruction and disorderly intoxication for kicking the home windows of the police automotive and punching a deputy. 

Mary O’Connor was finally reinstated, engaged on the drive till retiring in 2016 earlier than coming again to function chief earlier this yr. She mentioned on the time she believed in second probabilities.

In an announcement, Mayor Castor mentioned: ‘We maintain everybody accountable, irrespective of their place, and this conduct was unacceptable. Chief O’Connor will undergo the due course of and face acceptable self-discipline.’ 

Councilman Invoice Carlson, a critic of the appointment, claimed that the incident ‘show I used to be right in difficult this appointment and that Castor ought to have listened to the general public suggestions moderately than bullying and attacking Council associated to this vote.’

O’Connor has additionally come beneath scrutiny up to now for taking part in a police program that disproportionately stopped black bikers and for putting in a mute perform on police bodycams. 

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