Greg Abbott, a police lieutenant in Georgia, has been put on administrative duty after video of him saying “we only shoot black people” during a traffic stop was made public.
Dash-cash footage from a July 2016 DUI traffic stop shows an unidentified white female passenger telling Cobb County officer Greg Abbott that she “was scared to move her hands in order to get her cell phone because she didn’t want to get shot.”
Abbott responds by saying ‘But you’re not black. Remember, we only shoot black people.
Cobb County Police Chief Mike Register said the officer heard on video is Lt. Greg Abbott. Register said Abbott has been assigned to administrative duties pending the outcome of the investigation.
According to Register, the recording is part of a DUI stop. The woman said she was hesitant to put her hands down to pick up a cellphone because she didn’t want to get shot. “No matter what context it was said, it shouldn’t have been said,” Register said.
Suri Chadha Jimenez, who is representing the woman in the case, said he believes the officer was being sarcastic after the woman “gave him some lip.” “It makes you cringe when you hear it. It’s unacceptable,” Jimenez said. Jimenez says the fear minorities have when stopped is real.
Furthermore, Register said that Abbott will remain on administrative duty pending the investigation.
Lance LoRusso, an attorney for Lt. Greg Abbott, released the following 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.”
The charges against the unnamed driver were dropped and the charges against the female passenger in the video were resolved.