REPORT: Two Women Arrested For Impersonating Police, Livestreaming Racial Harassment At Traffic Stop

(Photo by PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images)

Nathalie Voit Contributor
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Two women from the Tampa Bay area were arrested in Sarasota, Florida on Sunday night on charges of impersonating law enforcement officials, WFLA reported.

Officers responded to a caller just before 1 a.m. in the 1200 block of 31st Street reporting what they believed to be an SPD officer in trouble, according to the Sarasota Police Department (SPD), WFLA reported.

When SPD officers arrived to the scene of the alleged incident, they instead discovered a look-alike police car donning red and blue lights and a siren attempting to stop another vehicle near Coconut Avenue and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, according to WFLA.

When the officers approached the vehicle, they came across 28-year-old Jymieka McDowell, of Sarasota, in the driver’s seat, and 39-year-old Ryshawnna Poole, of Manatee County, in the passenger seat, according to the outlet. (RELATED: Couple Arrested For Allegedly Having Sex On The Myrtle Beach Skywheel)

According to officer testimony, the women livestreamed the sham traffic stop on Facebook, where they claimed to be SPD officers and made menacing and disparaging remarks to a driver and a group of passengers they had stopped, WFLA reported.

“This wasn’t Sarasota police officers pulling over a car, these were people who were pretending to be law enforcement officers and putting fear into innocent victims and residents of our community, ” Chief Bernadette DiPino of the Sarasota Police Department said.

“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.”

The officers say McDowell and Poole were arrested and escorted to the Sarasota County Jail. The women face charges of impersonating a law enforcement official and false imprisonment, in addition to other unrelated charges, WFLA reported.

According to SPD officers, detectives believe it is not the first time the women have done this, WFLA reported.