A Republican congressional candidate in Florida was caught on police body camera footage threatening to end an officer’s career because she pulled him over for a traffic stop.
Martin Hyde, who is running in Florida’s 16th Congressional District, was pulled over by Sarasota Police Officer Julie Beskin on Feb. 14.
In video of the exchange, Beskin advised Hyde he was driving 57 mph in a 40 zone and was also seen texting on his phone. In a combative exchange that followed, he refused to cooperate, threatened her job and asked her if she was behaving that way because she was an immigrant.
“I’ll just call your chief. How’s that? You know who I am, right?” Hyde asked her after she explained why she’d stopped him.
“Go right ahead, sir,” Beskin replied. “Yes, sir, I do.”
She then asked him for his license and registration, telling him she was just doing her job.
“Yeah, for now,” he replied.
When Beskin returned to Hyde’s vehicle with a citation, he told her he’d called her supervisor.
“I just spoke to your boss,” he said. “Is it your Russian immigrant status that makes you treat people like this?”
Hyde then refused to take his paperwork from the officer, so she placed it on his dashboard.
″Don’t put your hand in my car. You don’t have a warrant,” he told her.
Hyde posted a statement on Facebook Tuesday apologizing over the incident and admitting he was “belligerent and rude to the officer.” He also admitted to being aggressive when challenged, arguing that it could be a good trait for a politician.
“I;m [sic] not going to justify my poor temper on that day or attempt to mitigate it in any way,” he wrote. ”There will be some who will say it’s not the first time I’ve acted out and they’d be right. I have faults and one of them is to be overly aggressive on occasion when I’m challenged.”
“In the political arena that is possibly a good thing but on a personal level it’s not,” he added.
He said he’d apologized to Beskin and was also apologizing to the community, pledging to “do my utmost to behave better going forward.”
Hyde is challenging Rep. Vern Buchanan in the GOP primary. He’s been endorsed by political operative Roger Stone and former national security adviser Michael Flynn, both of whom received pardons from former President Donald Trump in criminal cases.
According to his campaign website, Hyde was a former professional soccer player in the UK and a business owner in Sarasota. His key issues are listed as putting “America First,” protecting the Second Amendment, enacting term limits for elected leaders and fighting “cancel culture.”