Two women in the Tampa Bay area were arrested for allegedly impersonating police officers, performing a traffic stop, and live-streaming it on Facebook, WFLA reports.
According to the Sarasota Police Department, 28-year-old Jymieka McDowell and 39-year-old Ryshawnna Poole were arrested on Sunday morning after police came upon them in the middle of a fake traffic stop. The officers were responding to a call from a nearby resident, who thought they heard an officer in distress. After searching the area, they found the pair with a car pulled over onto the shoulder of a road. McDowell and Poole’s car was equipped with red and blue lights as well as a siren.
In a video shared to Facebook, the women threatened the people in the other vehicle.
"Driver, exit the vehicle, Put your ******* hands up driver. I need everyone to exit the ******* car,” one of the women said over a loudspeaker. “Do not make a move. Black lives don’t ******* matter. Anybody move and I will shoot."
Poole and McDowell were arrested on charges of impersonating an officer and false imprisonment. SPD believe that it’s likely the pair have pulled this trick before and are seeking other victims.
“This wasn’t Sarasota Police officers pulling over a car," Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino said in a statement. "These were people who were pretending to be law enforcement officers and putting fear into innocent victims and residents of our community. If you ever suspect if someone is pulling you over that you feel isn’t a law enforcement officer, call 911 to validate the traffic stop.”