The Tampa Police Chief has been suspended after bodycam video showed her badge flashing during a traffic stop

The Tampa, Fla., police chief has been placed on administrative leave after body camera footage showed her flashing her badge during a traffic stop and saying she hoped the deputy would “let us go.”

Police Chief Mary O’Connor and her husband were pulled over by a Pinellas County deputy Nov. 12 for driving an unlicensed golf cart.

In the video, the MP explains to the couple that they were pulled over for driving an unregistered vehicle with no license plates.

During the stop, O’Connor asked the deputy if his body-worn camera was recording. The deputy replied, “That’s it.”

O’Connor says “I’m the police chief in Tampa” while showing off her police badge.

“I hope you just let us go tonight,” she added.

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Chief O’Connor and her husband were pulled over by a Pinellas County assemblyman outside of a neighborhood of Oldsmar on November 12.
(fox 13)

O'Connor was caught on body camera video asking if the MP's camera was on and showing the MP her badge before saying:

O’Connor was captured on body camera video asking if the MP’s camera was on and showing the MP her badge before saying, “I hope you just let us go tonight.”
(fox 13)

“If you ever need anything, give me a call,” O’Connor said, handing the deputy her card. “Serious.”

The couple was released.

O’Connor released a statement after the video was released, saying her actions were the result of “poor judgement” from driving on a public road without appropriate tags. She said she realized her handling of it could be seen as inappropriate.

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“It was poor judgment on our part to drive a golf cart on a public road without the appropriate tags. This was the first time we left the golf cart-friendly community where we own property with this vehicle, eliminating the need for a license plate,” O’Connor said. “In retrospect, I realize that my dealings with could be considered inappropriate in this matter, but that was certainly not my intention. I knew my conversation was on video, and my motive was not to put the deputy in an awkward position. I personally called the Pinellas Sheriff County and offered to pay for any subpoenas.”

Mayor Jane Castor issued a statement on Friday,

Mayor Jane Castor issued a statement on Friday: “Commissioner Mary O’Connor has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into a recent traffic incident. Deputy Commissioner Lee Bercaw is serving as Acting Chief of Police.”
(fox 13)

She added, “I have expressed great remorse to the mayor and I apologize to Tampa residents who reasonably expect better judgment from their police chief.” As someone who has come to terms with my past, taken possession of it and grown out of mistakes, I know that no one is above the law, myself included.”

On Friday afternoon, Mayor Jane Castor released a statement on the incident, explaining that the O’Connor has been placed on hold pending the outcome of an investigation into the traffic incident.

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Deputy chief Lee Bercaw is serving as acting chief in Tampa during O’Connor’s vacation, Castor said.

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