Bradford County, Fla. — A deputy with the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office is seen on video holding a Jacksonville mother at gunpoint before handcuffing her during a traffic stop for a speeding violation.
Cell phone video taken by the mother’s child shows the intense traffic stop. The deputy involved has since resigned.
The traffic stop happened on Highway 301 between Starke and Lawtey and it caught the attention of the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office. As it investigated the situation and reviewed the video, a spokesperson said the actions of Deputy Jacob Desue did not align or follow with its policies, procedures and determined that his conduct was unacceptable.
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The intense moment was traumatic for the family as one of her kids in the back seat was crying, while another passenger was on the phone with someone explaining what was happening.
The woman in the video, Ebony Washington, was going 75 mph in a 55-mph zone last Friday, according to the sheriff’s office. Once police lights came on, authorities say she turned on her hazard lights and slowed her speed but continued to drive for another three to five minutes.
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Attorney John Phillips is representing Washington and her family. After Washington was asked to get out of the car, she can be heard from body-worn camera we obtained, saying she wanted to get to a well-lit area since she was in the middle of rural Bradford County. With her three children in the back seat, she wanted them to feel comfortable.
After explaining that to Desue, he responded, “Your excuse means nothing to me right now, I don’t want to hear it.”
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A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said that by turning on the hazard lights and dropping some speed, she did the right thing by letting the deputy know that she was there.
The deputy eventually put his gun away and placed her in handcuffs. She continued to explain to him why she didn’t immediately pull over.
“I don’t care about the why, shut up,” he shouted.
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Body-worn camera video shows him yelling at her from the start before she was told to get out. At one point the deputy said, “You make any movement that will be the last mistake you ever make, do not move.”
Shortly after, he said, “I ain’t worried, I got my gun.”
In a statement, Phillips said Desue’s comments were racially charged, but Bradford County Sheriff’s Office Colonel and Chief Deputy Brad Smith said that was not the case.
“Not a racial situation at all, the deputy in question is a man of color,” he said. “There was just some level of not responding to his training and continued conversations about how he was handling situations and he wasn’t adjusting to that.”
Smith said Desue has been with the sheriff’s office since 2020 after graduating from the academy. While the sheriff’s office tried to develop him, Smith said that written reprimand letters show the office has had several issues with him before.
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“The last time we had an issue with him, we entered what’s called a ‘last chance’ agreement and he basically tenders his resignation. And if there’s any more issues within a year, the sheriff can choose to accept that resignation and that’s what happened here,” Smith said. “His verbal abuse was intolerable and we weren’t going to allow that at the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office.”
In the statement that Action News Jax received from Phillips, it said: “Ms. Washington has spoken to the Mayor, who indicated prior issues with Desue. We have since learned he has resigned. Justice is spelled one way, but defined many different ways. This is one step towards justice. While Ms. Washington is regretful for speeding, we are all mindful that it led to a public official acknowledging a problem and an aggressive officer resigning.”
Action News Jax has also reached out to who we believe is Desue, but has not heard back yet.