Two Florida women have been arrested on charges of impersonating a law enforcement officer after livestreaming themselves pulling over a car and yelling profanities at its occupants while pretending to be cops.
According to the Sarasota Police Department, at around 1am on Sunday officers were responding to a report of a colleague in distress, when they came upon Jymieka McDowell, 28, and Ryshawnna Poole, 39, who they said had illegally pulled over a car near Cocoanut and Drive and Martin Luther King, Jr. Way.
Police wrote in a press release that the vehicle the two women were in was equipped with red and blue lights in the windshield, and a siren.
Police in Sarasota, Florida, on Sunday arrested two women who they say livestreamed themselves pretending to be cops and pulling over a vehicle (screenshots from the video)
Jymieka McDowell, 28, and Ryshawnna Poole, 39, are heard in the video laughing while shouting profanities at the occupants of an SUV and ordering them to get out
Poole, who was riding as a passenger in McDowell’s car, livestreamed the bogus traffic stop on Facebook Live, where it has been viewed more than 10,000 times as of Wednesday.
‘In the video, McDowell and Poole were claiming to be law enforcement officers, made threatening and derogatory statements to the driver and passengers of a vehicle they had stopped,’ police stated. ‘The victims in the vehicle that had stopped do not know McDowell or Poole.’
The Facebook Live video shows red and blue lights flashing and the siren blaring. McDowell and Poole are heard yelling at the occupants of the other car, ‘driver, exit the vehicle, throw your keys out the car.’ All the while, the duo are convulsing with laughter.
The women continue yelling out profanity-filled commands, including ‘put your f***ing hands up, driver,’ ‘I need everyone to exit the f***ing car,’ ‘do not make a move.’ and ‘anybody move and I will shoot.’
McDowell (left) and Poole (right) have been charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer and false imprisonment
At the urging of her companion, one of the suspects screams: ‘black lives don’t f***ing matter to me.’
They carry on in this fashion, threatening to shoot the occupants of the car, before the black SUV drives away.
McDowell and Poole pursue the vehicle and activate the lights and siren, before it pulls over in someone’s driveway.
One of the woman presciently warns the other: ‘these people will call the police for real.’
More cackling and swearing follows, before some of the SUV’s occupants exit the vehicle holding their cellphones and ducking behind the rear bumper.
Concerned that the people might be armed, McDowell and Poole take off.
Detectives believe it was not the first time that the pair have impersonated cops. McDowell and Poole also each face unrelated charged stemming from previous incidents
Real police officers who responded to the scene were able to make contact with McDowell and Poole and arrest them.
The pair were booked into the county jail on charges of impersonating a law enforcement officer and false imprisonment, as well as unrelated counts of petit theft for McDowell, and a probation violation for Poole stemming from a larceny case.
According to police, detectives have reason to believe that it was not the first time McDowell and Poole have impersonated cops and are asking any other potential victims to come forward.
‘This wasn’t Sarasota Police officers pulling over a car,’ said Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino. ‘These were people who were pretending to be law enforcement officers and putting fear into innocent victims and residents of our community.’
Sarasota police are asking anyone who was stopped by the duo to call the Sarasota Police Department Criminal Investigations Division at 941-263-6070.