Tampa, FL - The morning of Nov. 5, 2014, started out as a typical one for Liz Vargas Juarbe.
Still wearing her pajamas, she rushed around the house trying to get her daughter ready for school before heading out at 7 a.m. As she always does, Vargas let her daughter out of the car in the drop-off line at West Tampa Elementary School, then pulled her 1993 Buick into a parking spot to meet her and walk her to her classroom.
At first, said Vargas, 34, she didn’t see the Tampa police officer who had pulled in behind her. He told her the plastic cover on her license plate was illegal because it made the tag hard to read.
They argued. Less than a minute after they both got out of their cars because of a traffic stop over an obscured license plate, Vargas was in handcuffs, face down on the ground.
Nearly 10 months later, their argument continues, but this time with lawyers. Vargas was charged with obstructing or opposing an officer without violence, a misdemeanor. Prosecutors agreed not to pursue the charge after she completed 16 hours of community service. She is threatening to sue the police department.