He was caught on video saying this shocking phrase
Regardless of your political alignments in this day and age, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that tensions between the black community of America and police officers are at an all time high. With reports of brutality, violence, and even murder perpetrated by police officers on black Americans seemingly every week, it’s difficult to ignore that there is a rising problem.
Although many offenders will try to appear ignorant of these issues, other offenders have taken an opposite position, and seem to be embracing it wholeheartedly. Although the thought of someone embracing the kind of racism ― you know, the kind that ends with people being murdered ― seems absolutely insane, the example of this police officer doing just that will blow your mind.
A Routine Traffic Stop
As racial tensions increase and reports of police brutality amp up, dash cams have been installed in many police vehicles as an effort to keep officers accountable for their actions. This measure has the added bonus of protecting officers who performed their duties justly from being unfairly prosecuted… if that has ever really happened. In a not-so-shocking turn of events, dash cam footage has been used to implicate a number of officers in brutality or hate crimes way more than it’s been used to exonerate innocent officers. The footage from one dash cam caught this officer discussing his overt racism.
When he pulls over a woman at a DUI traffic stop, the dash cam picks up their entire conversation. The officer tells her to use her phone, but she seems fearful, because she doesn’t want to put her hands in her lap. This is likely out of a fear that the officer may think she is reaching for a weapon, resulting in violence. She says that she’s seen way too many “videos” of police officers being violent. The officer reassures her he won’t shoot her — in the most racist way possible.
“We Only Shoot Black People”
He tells her, “But you’re not black. Remember, we only shoot black people.”
This would be inexcusable in any context, but he digs his hole even deeper. He continues, “Yeah, we only kill black people, right? All the videos you’ve seen, have you seen the black people get killed?”
Although he seems to be saying this humorously, it’s not a joking matter. At the moment, he is speaking to a woman who is fearful for her life, and (as if that weren’t bad enough) he uses on the fact that police officers have a history of perpetrating violence against people of color as a punchline. Not cool.
This story does have a somewhat happy ending, though: the police officer was fired soon after the video surfaced.
Cobb County police chief Mike Register announced on Thursday that the offending police officer, Lt. Greg Abbott, was fired, according to The Daily Mail.
In his statement, the police chief said, “There’s really no place for these types of comments in law enforcement. In no context can I tolerate this type of language. I have known Lt. Abbott for years and perceived him as honorable, but he’s made a mistake. I don’t know what is in his heart, but I know what came out of his mouth.”
“We recommend that he be terminated and we are moving forward on that,” Register continued. “No matter what context [the racist language] was said [in], it shouldn’t have been said.”
“We’re not making excuses,” he concluded. “We’re meeting this head-on and we’re going to deal with it.”
Check out the full video of the incident next!
“Makes You Cringe”
However, the police officer’s lawyer, Lance LoRusso, had a different take on the circumstances. He claims that Abbott was only trying to “de-escalate a situation involving an uncooperative passenger.”
He continued to say that “Lt. Greg Abbot is a highly respected 25-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 claims that “[Abbot’s] comments were clearly aimed at attempting to gain compliance by using the passenger’s own statements and reasoning to avoid making an arrest” when taken in context.
The driver during the incident also secured an attorney, Suri Chadha Jimenez, who had his own take on the incident. He said that the Abbott may have been sarcastic because the woman “gave him some lip,” but said that “it makes you cringe when you hear it. It’s unacceptable.”
The police chief concluded by saying, “We are going to keep going forward to make sure we, as a police department, service the community in a most professional way — all segments of the community.”
You can read more about this incident at The Daily Mail.
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