Summary: A Cobb County police officer trying to handle an uncooperative woman during a DUI stop made a remark that has landed him in hot water.
Dash-cam footage obtained by Channel 2 Actions News shows a Police officer with the Cobb County Police Department making a DUI stop. During the stop, Lt. Greg Abbott can be heard saying, “Remember, we only kill black people. We only kill black people, right?”
The woman in question during the traffic stop had told the officer she was afraid to move her hands because of all the police shooting videos she had seen. Abbott made the remarks because the woman was not black so he was trying to reassure her in a sarcastic manner.
Cobb County Police Chief Mike Register has opened an investigation into the incident that occurred over a year ago. Abbott, a 28-year veteran of the department, has been put on administrative duties pending the outcome of the internal investigation. Register agrees, “No matter what context it was said, it shouldn’t have been said.”
Suri Chadha Jimenez is representing the driver in the complaint. Although she believes Abbott made the comments sarcastically because the woman “gave him some lip,” what he said was still “unacceptable.” She emphasized that the fear minorities feel during traffic stops is real.
Abbott’s attorney Lance LoRuso said, “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 explained that the incident happened last year before he became the police chief. This was also before the International Association of Chiefs of Police gave the Cobb County Police Department a high community approval rating. Their report did find a perception of discriminatory and biased policing but no overwhelming evidence to make it an issue.
Register said, “We’re not making excuses. We’re meeting this head-on and we’re going to deal with it.” Abbott has a good reputation with the police force and there are no known racial bias complaints against him.
The first steps Register has taken to address the problem is to establish a faith forum, training changes, precinct discussion groups, and more. He added, “We are going to keep going forward to make sure we, as a police department, service the community in a more professional way – all segments of the community.”
Register announced that he intends to fire Abbott because he will not tolerate those kind of remarks on his police force.
Is this a case of oversensitivity or was the police officer wrong for making the remarks? Tell us in the comments below.
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