NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – A South Florida entertainer is facing serious charges after, police said, she tried to bribe a Miami-Dade Police officer during a traffic stop that was captured on the law enforcer’s body camera.
The officer got more than what he asked for when he pulled over 26-year-old Margaret Garcia in the area of Northwest 27th Avenue and 79th Street in Northwest Miami-Dade, June 19.
Audio from the video recording captures the exchange between the partially undressed driver and the police officer when he asks for her license and registration, and she reacts by trying to hand him cash.
Officer: “Ma’am, that’s money.”
Margaret Garcia: “I know.”
Officer: “Why are you giving me money?”
Margaret Garcia: “How much do I owe you?”
Officer: “You don’t owe me any money. I asked for your license and registration.”
The footage, acquired by local radio personality Andy Slater, shows how the county’s newly acquired body cameras can showcase the kind of bizarre encounters that can happen on the unpredictable streets of South Florida.
Moments after asking for Garcia’s license, police said, the officer noticed an open container of alcohol. Still, she initially thought she would be able to drive home.
Margaret Garcia: “I’m going home.”
Officer: “Have you been drinking?”
Margaret Garcia: “No! What do you want? I just wanna go home.”
Instead, Garcia was put in handcuffs.
Officer: “You’re getting arrested for the weed. I pulled you over because you were speeding…”
Margaret Garcia: “Was I?”
Officer: “…and you reek of alcohol.”
Margaret Garcia: “I don’t care.”
Officer: “You’ve got an open container in your passenger side. Do you have any questions?”
Margaret Garcia: “No.”
One question police might have had is why Garcia’s dress was half off. “I’ve never come across that much spilled weed,” the officer is heard saying as a female officer put Garcia’s dress back on.
It was at this point that the officer found a bag of marijuana. “She stuffed it between the seat. Oh, and it’s spilled all over there. It’s just all in that vehicle,” the officer is heard saying in the video.
“That’s personal use. Come on, take me in,” Garcia replied as she launches on a tirade against the officer.
“Yeah, personal use. What? What? I smoke weed, what?” she continued.
As Garcia arrived at Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in West Miami-Dade to be booked, the officer who arrested her is heard saying, “She bribed me.”
“How did I bribe him?” Garcia replied.
“I’ve never been so glad about these cameras in my life,” said the officer.
Garcia has since bonded out of jail and is being charged with bribery and marijuana possession. She is also being charged with speeding, which is why she was pulled over in the first place.