COBB COUNTY, Ga. - Dash-cam video caught a Cobb County police officer making racial comments during a 2016 traffic stop involving a woman afraid to move her hands. Now, the Cobb County Police Chief says he plans to fire Lt. Greg Abbott for his comments.
"Remember, we only kill black people. We only kill black people, right?" the officer is heard saying to the woman in the video. The incident occurred on July 16, 2016.
Cobb County Police Chief Mike Register says that once the comments recorded on the video were confirmed, the officer was immediately placed on administrative duties, pending the outcome of the investigation.
Cobb County officials held a press conference on Thursday to address the video and confirmed the identity of the police officer in the video as Lt. Greg Abbott.
"No matter what the context, statements like these are unacceptable and are not indicative of the type of culture we are trying to facilitate here in the police department, as well as within the county," Chief Register said.
Register said that the video is of a DUI stop and that the woman was hesitant to put her hands down to gather her cell phone because she was afraid she would get shot. There was also a man in the car.
"I have seen the video and obviously have great concerns. I find the comments on the video repugnant and offensive beyond measure. I have personally spoken with Mrs. Deane Bonner of the Cobb NAACP and Ben Williams, chairman of the Cobb chapter of the SCLC and expressed my deep disappointment about this behavior. I have been assured that we will take quick and decisive action," said Chairman Mike Boyce.
Jay P Merritt says the traffic stop took place close to his house. "It wasn't right we got black people getting killed by police, to joke around like that, it wasn't okay," says Merritt.
Cobb County resident Whitney Adkins says it was out of line. "It's really a hurtful thing to joke about, it's not funny people losing their lives when things like that happen," said Adkins.
Chief Register says it's a setback for all the hard work he and his department have done to improve relations between police and the community. "Those who wear the Cobb County uniform have worked hard, Its sad to think that several seconds of video has the potential in tearing that a part," said Register.
Thursday afternoon Chief Register announced Lt. Abbott would be fired from the department. Thursday evening, attorney Lance LaRusso who represents Lt. Abbot released a statement saying "After 27 years of faithful service to the citizens of Cobb County, Lt. Greg Abbott made the decision to retire".