BRADFORD COUNTY, Fla. – A Jacksonville woman speaking out after what she describes as a terrifying traffic stop with a Bradford County Sheriff’s Office deputy.
The entire traffic stop was caught on police body camera video. Four months pregnant Ebony Washington and her three children were on their way home to Jacksonville from Gainesville last Friday around midnight when they were pulled over.
She told News4JAX that she keeps replaying the incident in her head.
“I was speeding. I said ‘I am about to get a ticket,’” Washington said.
In the body camera footage from the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office, you can see Deputy Jason DeSue
Washington did not pull over right away because she wanted to find a well-lit area before pulling over, so she turned on her hazard lights.
“It was dark and I was with my kids. I felt uncomfortable, and I didn’t want to be able to not have anyone else around,” Washington said.
In the video, you hear what sounds like Deputy DeSue getting agitated.
“Pull the vehicle over or I’ll put you into the ground,” DeSue said through the car speakers.
Shortly after DeSue makes that statement, you can see him follow Washington’s car into a gas station parking lot, get out of the vehicle and point his gun toward Washington’s car.
“If you make a move that’ll be the last mistake you make. Do not move,” DeSue said.
The video shows Washington’s hands were outside the vehicle like the deputy had asked.
Washington said she was unaware the deputy pulled out a gun at first.
“I didn’t know he had a gun until I told him my seatbelt was still on and he said ‘get out. I have my gun. I’m not worried,’” Washington said.
You can see the deputy take Washington’s arm aggressively after he handcuffed her.
Washington started to explain to the deputy why she did not initially pull over.
“I’m trying to tell you the only reason I didn’t stop. I’m a very educated woman. Lord knows I was only not because it’s dark out. I have three kids with me, and I didn’t want them to feel uncomfortable,” Washington said.
“Just shut up. I don’t care about why,” DeSue responded.
Her daughter Saige Washington, who was in the vehicle during the incident, said she was scared for her mother and couldn’t understand why the officer was acting so aggressively.
“I was scared he was going to either take her to jail or that he might hurt her,” Saige said. “Why is he so upset? She wasn’t doing anything.”
Washington was given a speeding ticket and apologized to the officer.
“Had I have done any movement outside of what he told me to do that would’ve been the opportunity for him to pull the trigger,” Washington said. “Him having power, the badge, the gun and the authority to do things, I think sometimes officers, like himself, they take advantage.”
Deputy DeSue reigned from the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office after the incident.