A Georgia officer was fired Thursday after dash cam video caught him telling a woman that she wouldn’t be shot because she isn’t black.
The footage, obtained by WSB-TV, appears to show Cobb County Lieutenant Gregg Abbott making the controversial comment to a female passenger during a traffic stop. During the exchange, the woman says she is afraid to move to get her cell phone because “I’ve just seen way too many videos of cops…”
The officer then cuts her off.
“But you’re not black. Remember, we only shoot black people,” Abbott can be heard saying. “Yeah. We only kill black people, right? All the videos you’ve seen, have you seen the black people get killed?”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted that the video is from July 2016. Despite this, Cobb County officials launched an internal investigation on Friday. Cobb County police Chief Mike Register said Abbott will be placed on desk duty as they complete their investigation.
"We only kill black people." – Local police officer under investigation after this exchange with a woman during a traffic stop… ENTIRE 3-MINUTE VIDEO: 2wsb.tv/2erz5yD
Posted by WSB-TV on Wednesday, August 30, 2017
“No matter what context it was said, it shouldn’t have been said,” Register commented.
Abbott’s attorney Lance LoRusso defended his client in a statement provided to WSB-TV:
“Lieutenant 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.”
On Thursday, Register revealed that the 28-year veteran will be fired, according to Journal-Constitution.
“I’ve known Lieutenant Greg Abbott for a number of years, and I’ve always perceived him to be an honorable man, but he’s made a mistake,” the chief said. “I don’t know what was in his heart, but I know what came out of his mouth.”
UPDATE: Cobb County plans to fire the officer involved.—————WATCH LIVE: Cobb County police are holding a news conference about an officer's controversial statements during a traffic stop. 2wsb.tv/2erz5yD
Posted by WSB-TV on Thursday, August 31, 2017
[Featured Image: WSB-TV/screengrab]