“Make any movement, and that’ll be the last mistake you make.” Those were the words of Florida’s Bradford County Deputy Jason DeSue as he pointed his gun at a four-month pregnant Ebony Washington.
Washington, a Black mother of three, was driving 75 mph in a 55 mph zone. Jason DeSue attempted to pull Ebony Washington over shortly before midnight. But, Washington didn’t immediately pull over because she wanted to find a “well-lit area” before doing so.
“I felt uncomfortable,” says Washington. “I didn’t want to have anybody not around.” So she turned on her hazard lights and began driving slowly.
“Pull the vehicle over, or I’ll put you into the ground,” DeSue says through the police car’s speakers. Shortly after, Washington turns into a gas station.
The patrol car dashcam captures the moment DeSue gets out of his car. He points his gun at Washington’s SUV. “Make any movement, and that’s gonna be the last mistake you make,” says DeSue.
Washington emerges from her SUV with her hands up. She tries to explain her reason for not immediately stopping. “The only reason why I didn’t stop. I’m a very educated woman with a master’s degree,” Ebony Washington says. “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. I don’t care about the why,” says DeSue. “Your excuses mean nothing to me right now.” Washington was placed in handcuffs as her children cried out for their mother.
After some time, the pregnant mother of three was uncuffed and issued a speeding ticket. Ebony apologizes to the Bradford County Deputy. “Apologize for yourself for not thinking,” Deputy DeSue replies.
Ebony Washington says the incident keeps replaying in her head. She says she was compliant during the stop but can’t help but think about what might have happened if she had made the wrong move.
“Had I done any type of movement outside of what he asked me to do,” says Washington. “That could’ve been the opportunity for him to pull the trigger.”
The Bradford County Sheriff’s department reviewed DeSue’s bodycam footage after video of the altercation went viral. The sheriff’s office says that Jason DeSue did violate the department’s standards. He has since resigned from Bradford County after two years on duty.