BRADFORD COUNTY, Fla. — The video was taken by a child in the backseat.
Ebony Washington steps out of her car and attempts to explain to the Bradford County Sheriff's deputy why she didn't stop immediately on the rural Lawtey road.
"Sir, I have my three kids in the car," she can be heard saying, gesturing at the backseat. "And the reason why I did not stop is, I'm in the middle of nowhere. And my husband tells me not to..."
The deputy cuts her off. "Your excuses mean nothing to me right now." Seconds later, he handcuffs her and takes her to his squad car.
From the backseat, a child can be heard saying, "He told her to step out of the vehicle. He just put the handcuffs on her, Dad."
A second child begins crying.
"Mommy!" She calls.
The Bradford County Sheriff's Office said they saw the video on social media, leading them to pull the dashcam video of the incident. Law enforcement reviewed the video and determined the incident was inappropriate and did not follow their policies.
Officials spoke with the deputy involved, later identified as Deputy Jacob Desue, who resigned. He no longer works for the Bradford County Sheriff's Office. Desue was hired in March of 2020. His job with Bradford County was his first job out of the police academy, officials said.
Desue did have a history of disciplinary incidents, according to the sheriff's office.
The video was posted on Facebook Aug. 13 by her husband Pastor T. Washington, with the comment, "HE POINTED HIS GUN AT MY WIFE WHO'S 4 MONTHS PREGNANT and threated to kill her!!! I'm so pissed off tonight!!!!!!! I'm filing a complaint asap! He threatened my wife's life all because she wanted to stop in a well-lit area while all our kids were inside! Lord help us....Bradford County Sheriff. Lawtey fl #bradfordcountysheriff Officer Desue you finna be in the soup line buddy. SHARE!!!"
The video has been viewed and shared thousands of times since then.
“Mrs. Washington says she felt racially profiled," attorney John Phillips told First Coast News. He says she was driving 72 in a 55 mph zone when the officer activated his lights. He said she drove until she reached a well-lit area before stopping, something Florida law permits, though drivers are asked to turn on their hazard lights to acknowledge the traffic stop.
Washington's attorney says she lives in Jacksonville and was on her way home. Phillips says she was detained 10 to 15 minutes before the officer's supervisor arrived on the scene and released her. Washington received a traffic citation.
First Coast News spoke to Pastor Washington Wednesday and will have exclusive interviews with both him and Ebony Washington Thursday.
We will write a new story at that time.