A police officer in Cobb County, Georgia, is being investigated after dash cam footage showed him telling a woman that he pulled over that police officers “only kill black people.”
Dashcam footage obtained through an open records request shows Cobb County Police Lt. Greg Abbott trying to ease the fears of a woman he pulled over who was reluctant to move her hands to pull out her license and registration, reported WSB-TV Atlanta.
“Remember, we only kill black people,” the officer said. “We only kill black people, right?”
Suri Chadha Jimenez, who is representing the driver in the case, said he believes the officer was being sarcastic after the woman “gave him some lip.”
Abbott was placed on administrative leave after the department was made aware of the video.
His attorney says his client was clearly trying to ease a tense situation and get the driver to comply with his commands.
Abbott’s attorney Lance LoRusso gave this statement:
“Lt. Greg Abbott is a highly respected 28-year veteran of the Cobb County Police Department. He is cooperating with the department’s internal investigation and will continue to do so. His comments must be observed in their totality to understand their context. He was attempting to de-escalate a situation involving an uncooperative passenger. In context, his comments were clearly aimed at attempting to gain compliance by using the passenger’s own statements and reasoning to avoid making an arrest.”
However, Cobb County Police Chief Mike Register said that some things simply shouldn’t be said by police officers, regardless of the situation.
“No matter what context it was said, it shouldn’t have been said,” he said. “We’re not making excuses. We’re meeting this head-on and we’re going to deal with it.”
Register also said Abbott had been a good officer and he wasn’t aware of any racial bias complaints.
(Article By Jeremiah Jones)