Deputy resigns after traffic stop that pregnant mother calls terrifying

Published: Aug. 21, 2022 at 5:12 AM CDT
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BRADFORD COUNTY, Fla. (WJXT) - A pregnant mother is speaking out after what she describes as a terrifying traffic stop with a Florida deputy. The traffic stop was caught on police camera, and the deputy later resigned.

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 for speeding by Bradford County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jason DeSue.

DeSue says the mother was traveling 75 miles per hour in a 55 mph speed zone.

Despite the lights and siren, Washington did not pull over right away because she wanted to find a well-lit area before doing so. She kept driving but turned on her hazard lights.

“It was dark [and I was] with my kids. I felt uncomfortable. I didn’t want to be able to not have anyone else around,” Washington said.

In the body camera footage, DeSue sounds like he is unhappy with this decision.

“Pull the vehicle over, or I’ll put you into the ground,” he said through the police car’s speakers.

Shortly after DeSue makes that statement, he follows Washington’s car into a gas station parking lot. Video shows he gets out of the vehicle and points his gun toward her car.

“If you make any movement, that’ll be your last mistake you’re gonna make,” he shouts at the car. “Do not move.”

The video shows Washington put her hands outside the vehicle like the deputy asked.

Washington says 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 on because he was telling me to get out… He said, ‘Well, get out. I have my gun. I’m not worried,’” she said.

Body camera footage shows DeSue aggressively take Washington’s arm after he handcuffed her.

Washington later tried to explain to the deputy why she did not initially pull over.

“I’m trying to tell you the only reason why I didn’t stop. I’m a very educated woman with a master’s degree… I was only not because it’s dark out and I have three kids with me. I’m pregnant, and I did not want them to feel uncomfortable,” she said in the video.

“Shut up about the why,” DeSue yelled at her. “Don’t care about the why.”

Washington was given a speeding ticket and apologized to the deputy.

“Apologize for yourself for not thinking,” DeSue said in the video.

The mother says she keeps replaying the incident in her head. She says she was “obliging [and] corresponding” during the stop, but she worries about what might have happened.

“Had I done any type of movement outside of what he asked me to do, that could’ve been the opportunity for him to pull the trigger,” she said.

DeSue resigned from the sheriff’s office after the incident.