ACLU demands probe after Tampa police post Black woman’s personal info online
After a disputed traffic stop, a Florida woman alleges that police put her in jeopardy by posting her info
The ACLU is demanding the Florida state attorney general to open a probe into the Tampa police department for possible retaliation after a Black woman’s personal information was posted online.
The American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter to State Attorney Andrew Warren on Thursday sharing their concerns that Joneshia Wilkerson was targeted by TPD, WFTS Tampa Bay reported. Wilkerson’s social security number and date of birth were posted on Youtube which has led to threats against her.
The ACLU is contending that the TPD violated Florida law by doing so and engaged in retaliation. It is prohibited by Florida statue section 817.568(4) to engage in harassment.
“When they blasted my information out, I felt like they were not concerned with my personal wellbeing. I felt completely harassed by the Tampa Police Department,” Wilkerson said.
On June 18, Wilkerson alleged that when she was pulled over and had a gun pointed in her face. The TPD claim she was driving a stolen car and that the officer involved had his gun pointed down.
“Y’all I got pulled over and this cop is literally pointing a gun at me. He still didn’t put his gun down,” she said in the social media video. “Sir, can you at least put your gun down?”
Two days after the incident, TPD posted the officer’s body cam video on Youtube to seemingly counter her allegations. According to the ACLU, the 23-year-old single mother is on leave from active duty in the U.S. Army has been on the receiving end of abuse which has included racial slurs.
“One caller even pretended to be a police officer and tried to lure her somewhere by telling her that the police needed to speak to her in person,” said ACLU in a letter to Warren.
Wilkerson ultimately wasn’t charged but she is now scared for her life and living at an undisclosed hotel. The ACLU believes a deliberate decision was made not to redact Wilkerson’s personal information. It was eventually blacked out but the ACLU wants accountability.
“The timing of the foregoing suggests that TPD published Ms. Wilkerson’s personal information, when they knew that it would cause her to receive harassment and threats, to retaliate against her for publishing a video of an officer raising his gun to her and for initiating an internal-affairs complaint,” ACLU said in a letter to Warren.
You can see the police body cam video of the incident below. The video posted to Wilkerson’s Instagram page has been deleted.
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