A police officer is under investigation after an apparently sarcastic response to a nervous driver caused a storm of controversy. Cobb County Police Lt. Greg Abbott was handling a traffic stop involving a DUI suspect, when the woman who was driving was afraid to move her hands from the steering wheel.
According to Chief Mike Register, the woman didn’t want to move her hands, out of fear of being shot. Lt. Abbott responded by saying, “Remember, we only kill black people. We only kill black people, right?”
After WSB-TV filed an open records request to view the dashcam footage that captured the whole thing, the Cobb County police opened an investigation. Lt. Abbott is currently on administrative duty.
The driver’s lawyer, Suri Chadha Jimenez, told the local outlet that Abbott appeared to speaking sarcastically, after her client was giving him attitude.
“It makes you cringe when you hear it. It’s unacceptable,” Jimenez said.
Chief Register agreed, saying, “No matter what context it was said, it shouldn’t have been said.”
Abbott’s attorney, Lance LoRusso, said in a statement:
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.
[Image via screengrab]