A Georgia police officer was caught on camera telling a woman,“we only shoot black people.” In the video, the Cobb County police officer can be seen making the controversial remark while standing beside a car which had been, moments ago, pulled up alongside a road. As the video went viral, Lt. Greg Abbott, the officer, announced his intent to leave the Cobb County Police Department. Earlier, his superiors told him that he would be fired, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
In the video, Abbott asks the woman in the front passenger seat to use the phone in her lap to make a phone call. The woman replies she doesn’t want to. The woman can also be heard saying she’s scared to move her hands. Abbott, who is white, interrupts her and says, “But you’re not black. Remember, we only kill black people.”
Watch the video here:
Cobb County Police Chief Mike Register, at a press conference, described Abbott, as “honorable,” but said the officer had made a mistake, “I don’t know what is in his heart,” the chief added, indicating Abbot would be fired, “but I know what came out of his mouth, ” as per Washington Post. In recent years, numerous videos have emerged that showed unarmed black people being killed by US police officers.
Abbott’s lawyer said the comments from the traffic stop “must be observed in their entirety to understand their context.” Abbott, a 27-year veteran of the force, was attempting to de-escalate a situation involving an uncooperative passenger, his attorney Lance J. LoRusso said in a statement. The lawyer said the video showed that “his comments were clearly aimed at attempting to gain compliance by using the passenger’s own statements and reasoning to avoid making an arrest,” as per CNN.