Georgia Police Officer Caught On Dash Cam Video Telling Woman ‘We Only Kill Black People’ Opts For Early Retirement

Photo: Washington Post
Dashcam Video

Told she was being arrested, the passenger said she was afraid to reach for her phone.

One night in July of 2016, Lt. Greg Abbott pulled over a woman in Cobb County, Georgia for a routine DUI traffic stop.

Abbott told the woman to call the person she'd asked to come get her and them they didn't need to, as he was going to arrest her, take her to jail and impound the car.

The woman refused to comply, explaining that she couldn't use her phone without putting her hands down, and that doing so felt too risky.

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"I just won't want to put my hands down. I'm really sorry," she says in the dash cam video. "I've just seen way too many videos of cops..."

Officer Abbot cuts her off and says:

"But you're not black. Remember, we only kill black people."

"Yeah, we only kill black people, right?" He continues, "All the videos you've seen, have you seen any white people get killed. You have?"

On August 30, 2017, just over one year later, County Cobb Police Chief Mike Register received information about an officer making "inappropriate racial comments."

After the dash cam video went viral, Abbott announced his decision to retire, effective immediately.

According to CNN, "Cobb County Public Safety Director Samuel Heaton said Friday the department had received an e-mail from Abbott requesting immediate retirement. 'He was eligible for that. Once he retires he is no longer employed so no disciplinary action can take place. He is entitled to his retirement, which he would've received even if he was fired.'"

His decision came after his superiors told him he would be fired.

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Chief of Police Register described Abbott as "honorable," and said that he had made a mistake.

"I've known Lt. Abbott for a number of years, and I've always perceived him to be an honorable man. He made a mistake. I don't know what's in his heart, but I certainly know what came out of his mouth. And, it's inexcusable and we have to take appropriate action."

Abbott's attorney, Lance LoRusso, said the comments weren't made with bad intent, but rather in an attempt to de-escalate the situation.

"His comments must be observed in their totality to understand their context,” LoRusso said in a statement to the public. “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.”

Chief Register clearly didn't agree when making his own public statement.

“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."

Suri Chadha Jimenez, the lawyer for the driver involved in the original DUI case, said he cringed when he first heard the video.

He thought Abbott was being sarcastic with the passenger for giving him "lip."

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“The reality is, to us minorities, there is a real fear when you’re pulled over,” he said. “He thought it was a joke, but it’s not a joke to many people.”

Abbott worked for the government for nearly 30 years.

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Emily Blackwood is an editor at YourTango who covers pop culture, dating, relationships and everything in between. You can follow her on Instagram (@blackw00d) and Twitter (@emztweetz).