UPDATE: The officer who was caught on tape saying police only kill Black people will be fired.
On Thursday, Cobb County police Chief Mike Register told news reps that he has begun process to eliminate Lieutenant Greg Abbott from the force
As we previously reported, via dashcam video from July 2016 a white woman can be heard telling Abbott she was scared to move her hands in order to get her mobile phone.
That’s when Abbott interjects and says, “But you’re not black. Remember, we only kill black people. Yeah. We only kill black people, right?”
A 20-year member of the Cobb County police force, Abbott was placed on administrative duty last week, pending an investigation.
Earlier on Thursday, Abbott’s lawyer, Lance LoRusso, said in a statement to The Associated Press that Abbott is cooperating with the investigation, and his comments were meant to “de-escalate a situation involving an uncooperative passenger.”
Well, it didn’t make any difference with Chief Register who later said that regardless of the context, such comments are “unacceptable.”
“No matter what the context, statements like these are unacceptable and are not indicative of the type of culture we are trying to facilitate here in the police department, as well as within the county,” Register said in an emailed statement.
In Cobb County, Georgia, dash-cam video bears witness to an officer’s questionable interaction with a woman who said she was afraid to move her hands during a traffic stop.
“Remember, we only kill black people. We only kill black people, right?” the Cobb County police officer can be heard saying on the video.
On Friday, led by police chief Mike Register, the Cobb County police department opened an internal investigation.
Chief Register identified the officer heard on video is Lt. Greg Abbott. Abbott has been assigned to administrative duties pending the outcome of the investigation, reports Atlanta’s Channel 2 Action News.
Register says the recording is part of a DUI stop. The woman said she was hesitant to put her hands down to pick up a cellphone because she didn’t want to get shot.
“No matter what context it was said, it shouldn’t have been said,” Register said.
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.”
“It makes you cringe when you hear it. It’s unacceptable,” Jimenez said.
Jimenez says the fear minorities have when stopped is real.
Meanwhile, Abbott’s attorney Lance LoRusso provided Channel 2 Action News the following 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.”
Register said Abbott had been a good officer and he wasn’t aware of any racial bias complaints.
“We’re not making excuses. We’re meeting this head-on and we’re going to deal with it,” Register said.
Chief Register says the incident happened last year, before he became chief.
Get the rest of the story at WSBtv.com.
(Photo Credit: WSBTV News Screen Shot)
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