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Mar 28, 2024

Paraeducator arrested by Polk County Sheriff’s Office following a traffic stop near Lakeland

Media Contact: Brian Bruchey, PIO

A traffic stop Wednesday morning, March 27, 2024, resulted in the arrest of a paraeducator, and three misdemeanor charges from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

The stop occurred at about 7:47 AM in the westbound lanes of US 92 East, in the vicinity of Saddle Creek Park Road, east of Lakeland, after a PCSO deputy noticed the license plate was obstructed.

After requesting a driver’s license, the deputy was told by the driver that she did not have her license with her. She then provided the deputy with a name and date-of-birth, both of which were found to be false.

The driver was confirmed to be 36-year old Kwanazza Lawrence of Winter Haven, and her driver’s license has been suspended since 2022.

As the deputy was attempting to arrest Ms. Lawrence, she got on the ground and began flailing her arms, resisting efforts to place handcuffs on her. 

“Teachers are role models for children, and they should lead by example, the overwhelming majority of them do all of the time-this one didn’t. They don’t put up with students lying, or throwing temper tantrums in the classroom. Yet that’s exactly how Ms. Lawrence behaved, and that’s just unacceptable.”Grady Judd, Sheriff

Kwanazza Lawrence was arrested and taken to the Sheriff’s Processing Center where she was charged with: Providing False Identification to Law Enforcement (M1), Resisting without Violence (M1), and Knowingly Driving While License Suspended/Revoked (M2).

Ms. Lawrence informed deputies that she is an Exceptional Student Education paraeducator at Oscar J. Pope Elementary School in Lakeland. Any inquiries regarding her employment should be directed to the Polk County Public Schools.