Florida police chief resigns after video shows her flashing badge during traffic stop

<span>Photograph: Dirk Shadd/AP</span>
Photograph: Dirk Shadd/AP

A Florida police chief has resigned after footage showed her flashing her badge and asking to be released during a traffic stop.

Tampa police chief Mary O’Connor resigned on Monday after an internal affairs investigation, said Tampa mayor Jane Castor in a statement.

“It is unacceptable for any public employee, and especially the city’s top law enforcement leader, to ask for special treatment because of their position,” said Castor.

The incident occurred last month when O’Connor was driving in a golf cart with her husband down a road. They were stopped by an officer of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office for driving the golf cart without a license plate tag, reported the Tampa Bay Times.

Body camera footage showed O’Connor identifying herself as the Tampa police chief and telling the deputy she was “hoping that you’ll just let us go tonight”. She then showed her badge, and handed out a business card.

“If you ever need anything, call me. Seriously,” she said.

The officer let them go without a citation, reported CNN.

O’Connor had previously been placed on administrative leave before sending in her requested letter of resignation on Monday, where she wrote that she “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”.

Tampa’s assistant police chief, Lee Bercaw, will take over the role.