A Georgia police officer is being placed on leave after he was caught on camera telling a startled woman not to worry because cops only shoot black people, the New York Daily News reports.
“Remember, we only kill black people,” Police Lt. Gregg Abbott of Cobb County reportedly said on a dashcam video published by WSB-TV. “We only kill black people, right?”
Abbott made the woman stop for a DUI, and he told her she can use the cell phone on her lap, but she was hesitant because of the many videos she’d seen of cops shooting civilians—specifically black people. “I’ve just seen way too many videos of cops,” the woman said.
“But you’re not black,” he replied. “Remember, we only shoot black people." There’s no denying how blatantly racist Abbot’s comments were. His lawyer, Lance LoRusso, claims it was a simple method to try to de-escalate the situation.
"Lt. Greg Abbott is a highly respected 28-year veteran of the Cobb County Police Department,” LoRusso told WSB-TV Atlanta. “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.”
Others adamantly said that the comment should not have been uttered regardless of the cop's reasoning. “No matter what the context it was said, it shouldn’t have been said,” Cobb County Police Chief Mike Registry told the news station.
“It makes you cringe when you hear it,” lawyer Suri Chadha Jimenez, who represents the woman charged with the DUI, told WSB-TV. “It’s unacceptable.” The cop's future is still in limbo.