Tampa Police Chief Resigns After Flashing Badge During Traffic Stop

Mary O’Connor resigned her position as police chief of Tampa, Florida, after bodycam footage showed her using her police badge to get out of a traffic stop while driving an unmarked golf cart on November 12.

Bodycam footage shows an officer, identified by local media as a Pinellas County sheriff’s deputy, approaching a golf cart outside a bank in Palm Harbor. The officer explains that he stopped the vehicle because it was driving with no tag.

O’Connor, seen in the footage sitting in the passenger seat next to her husband, asks: “Is your camera on?” which the deputy confirms. O’Connor then says: “I’m the police chief of Tampa,” adding, “I’m hoping you’ll let us go tonight.”

Toward the end of the stop, O’Connor hands the deputy her business card, saying, “If you ever need anything, call me – serious.”

According to a police disposition, O’Connor and her husband were let go with a verbal warning.

O’Connor brought the incident to the attention of Tampa City Mayor Jane Castor on November 30, according to a police disposition. An internal investigation was opened and O’Connor was placed on administrative leave on December 2.

On December 4, the internal investigation found that O’Connor had violated Tampa Police Department policy during the traffic stop. She had resigned by December 5, the City of Tampa said. Credit: Tampa Police Department via Storyful

Video Transcript





- Go ahead.

LARRY JACOBY: East Lake Service Road, Woodlands Parkway, it's going to be a golf cart, no tag.


Good evening.

- Hey, it's [? something. ?]

LARRY JACOBY: All right, I'm Deputy Jacoby of the Sheriff's Office. Stopped you because you driving tag, or unregistered vehicle with no tag on it on the roadway.

- Yeah, we were-- we went to the club it was closed. So we went over and picked up some--

MARY O'CONNOR: Is your camera on?


MARY O'CONNOR: I'm the police chief in Tampa.

LARRY JACOBY: Oh, how are you doing?

MARY O'CONNOR: I'm doing good.


MARY O'CONNOR: I'm hoping that you'll just let us go tonight.

LARRY JACOBY: Ah, OK. Yeah, I'll say-- now just say, you look familiar, so--

MARY O'CONNOR: Yeah, I'm sure I do.

LARRY JACOBY: OK, so all right, folks, well have a good night. Just heading over here in East Lake Woodlands?

- Yeah.

MARY O'CONNOR: We live in East Lake Woodlands.

LARRY JACOBY: OK, all right. Well, it's nice to meet you. [CHUCKLES]

- OK.

LARRY JACOBY: I'm Deputy Jacoby.

MARY O'CONNOR: Same here, my friend.

LARRY JACOBY: All right.

MARY O'CONNOR: You take care of yourself.

LARRY JACOBY: All right, take care.

MARY O'CONNOR: Sorry to bother you.

LARRY JACOBY: All right, no worries, no worries. So, we have a lot of problem with the golf cart around here. You know, everybody gets out.

- We don't normally come out, but--

MARY O'CONNOR: We never come out.

- The club was closed.

MARY O'CONNOR: We never ever--

- We went over to the Greek place to get some food, and--

LARRY JACOBY: Gotcha, OK. All right. All right, then, well, take care. And it was nice meeting you.

- All right.

LARRY JACOBY: Oh, all right.

MARY O'CONNOR: If you ever need anything, call me.



LARRY JACOBY: All right. Appreciate that.

MARY O'CONNOR: Thank you.

LARRY JACOBY: Yes, ma'am, you're welcome, still.

MARY O'CONNOR: Thank you for your service.

LARRY JACOBY: Thank you for yours.

MARY O'CONNOR: Thank you.

LARRY JACOBY: So take care.

- All right, thank you.

MARY O'CONNOR: Take care.

LARRY JACOBY: Have a good night, folks. Holster again, 10-8. [COUGHS]

MARY O'CONNOR: Have a good night.