Dashcam footage from a Cobb County, Georgia, cop’s vehicle shows the police officer attempting to calm down a nervous woman he pulled over for a DUI by telling her “We only kill black people.”
"Remember, we only kill black people. We only kill black people, right?" the officer can be heard telling the woman, who is not black.
The stop reportedly occurred back in July. The department has confirmed the comments heard in the footage and announced that Abbott has been placed on desk duty as an investigation into the incident is underway.
Abbott’s attorney, Lance LoRusso, claims that his client was trying 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," LoRusso reportedly said.
Although Cobb County Police Chief Mike Register maintains that Abbott is a “good officer,” he issued a statement condemning his poor judgment and word choice.
“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," the statement reads.
The bottom line is that those words should have never been uttered from Abbott’s mouth. It makes no difference whether he was being serious, sarcastic, or jovial; it’s reprehensible in any and every context, as Register noted.
To be quite frank, these comments should be grounds for termination, or at the very least, suspension. A demotion to desk duty isn’t even equivalent to a slap on the wrist; it’s more of a paid vacation.
It would be no surprise if the department simply keeps Abbott out of the field just until this incident blows over and people forget about it, then releases him back into the community to continue making these egregious remarks.
Cobb County’s black community should organize to hold the department accountable and ensure Abbott faces real repercussions.
This casual attitude Abbott displayed toward the black lives that have been stolen by members of law enforcement is not something to be taken lightly.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Ildar Sagdejev