ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – After reviewing a report of an incident involving a woman who had her windows smashed by an Orange County deputy after refusing to get out of her vehicle, officials with the state attorney’s office say the 21-year-old driver will not face charges.
According to officials, the incident, which was caught on camera, took place earlier this month when deputies conducted a traffic stop on Khadija Bezzaz, who deputies said was behind the wheel of a vehicle that had its hazard lights on and was blocking traffic lanes. Authorities say protesters in response to George Floyd’s death were walking on the sidewalk on the westbound side of Curry Ford Road as Bezzaz was blocking traffic.
In the video that shows the traffic incident unfolding, Bezzaz can be seen pulling into a parking lot after realizing she was being pulled over. When deputies told her she was being detained and that she needed to step out of the vehicle, Bezzaz refused, telling them she didn’t think she did anything wrong.
After moments of back and forth between Bezzaz and one of the deputies who repeatedly told her to get out of the car, the deputy can be seen smashing her window with a baton.
Orange County Sheriff John Mina said his deputy felt the car move forward, which is when Deputy Christopher Moore smashed the window.
The driver was placed in a sheriff’s office vehicle and transported to the hospital after suffering minor cuts to her face from the broken glass.
After video of the incident that was recorded by Bezzaz circulated online, Mina held a news conference about the incident, during which he said he found the video “troubling.”
Sheriff Mina is briefing the media regarding video of a traffic stop circulating on social media. pic.twitter.com/tVcmk8uKUB— Orange County Sheriff's Office (@OrangeCoSheriff) June 4, 2020
The sheriff said more time could have been spent deescalating the situation.
“I didn’t see the necessity to go to that right away. That’s why we are opening an inquiry,” Mina said.
After reviewing the incident, Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala released the following statement:
“A report was submitted to our office and reviewed for prosecution against Khadija Bezzaz. Based on the totality of the circumstances no charges will be filed. In the interest of justice, we have concluded that as it relates to Khadija Bezzaz, no further state action will be taken."
Ayala also addressed the deputy’s conduct seen in the video.
“As it relates to the deputy’s alarming conduct, we have met with the Sheriff’s Office where all matters related to policy violations rest for review,” Ayala said in her statement.