During a DUI stop, a lieutenant from a Georgia police department is caught on dash-cam video telling a white female driver suspected of driving drunk, “Remember, we only kill black people.” The officer, Lt. Greg Abbott of the Cobb County Police Department instructed the driver to grab her cell phone, but the nervous woman replied that she’s scared to reach for the phone because she has “just seen way too many videos of cops … ”
In response to the woman’s nervous demeanor, Abbott says, “But, you’re not black. Remember, we only shoot black people. We only kill black people, right? All the videos you’ve seen, have you seen the black people get killed?”
The traffic stop occurred back in July 2016, but is now coming to light after an open public records request by a local television station, Channel 2 Action News. Only now that the video has become public, has the Police Chief Mike Register said Abbott has been placed on administrative leave while an investigation is ongoing.
An attorney for Officer Abbott, Lance LoRusso, told the news station in a press statement that the 28-year-old cop is cooperating with the ongoing investigation, and that “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.”
Police Chief Register, while not head of the department at the time of the incident, said Abbott was a good officer and doesn’t have any other racial complaints against him. Register added, “no matter what context it was said, it shouldn’t have been said,” and that the matter is being dealt with “head-on.”
A spokesman for the driver, Chadha Jimenez, believes that the officer was being sarcastic because the woman, “gave him some lip,” but nonetheless said, “it makes you cringe when you hear it. It’s unacceptable.”