Officer Taylor Saulters was fired after he was caught on video running over a fleeing suspect in his patrol car, causing him to fall face-first on the ground. However, within a week the officer has been hired again by the Oglethorpe County Sheriff’s Office.
“I have known him since he was a baby and I know he will be a great asset to our county,” Sheriff David Gabriel said.
Gabriel also had a rather unreasonable justification for Saulters’ action. He said the officer wasn’t at fault because “a fleeing felon struck his patrol car while he was attempting to apprehend him.”
Footage from inside the car showed Saulters driving after Timmy Patmon deliberately. After hitting him with his car, Saulters and another officer were seen arresting the suspect with Saulters threatening to use a stun gun when Patmon failed to follow his instructions.
A police officer in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, was fired from his job after dash cam footage showed him running over a fleeing suspect in his patrol car, causing him to fall face-first on the ground.
Officer Taylor Saulters was chasing 23-year-old Timmy Patmon, who was on probation and had felony warrants out for his arrest, in an area known as the Triangle Plaza. While another cop, identified as Hunter Blackmon, pursued the man on foot, Saulters remained in the police cruiser and drove after him.
The video showed the officer hitting a curb and flattening a tire on his vehicle before trying to pull out in front of Patmon to block his way. The suspect, however, managed to evade the cop and ran out on to the street – and that’s when Patmon hit the accelerator and knocked him down.
“Why’d you hit that man with your car like that?” a witness yelled at the officer, seemingly outraged by the violent rundown.
The two officers were then seen arresting the suspect with Saulters threatening to use a stun gun when Patmon failed to follow his instructions.
“Give us your hands now, or you're gonna get Tased,” the officer said. “Do you understand me? Make the right decision.”
When the victim said he was injured, Saulters replied, “Oh, I know, I know what I did. Why’d you run?”
Patmon was taken to a hospital in an ambulance and was treated for scratches and bruises. He was later transferred to the Clarke County Jail for violating his probation and obstructing a law enforcement officer.
“I thought my son was dead. His arms and stuff are all marked up … and he’s limping when he walk,” said his mother, Tammy LaShay Brown Patmon. “It’s police brutality, it sure is. It’s wrong.”
Shortly after the arrest, the Athens-Clarke County Police Department suspended Saulters. A spokesperson told WSBTV although the accident seemed unintentional, the officer was indeed negligent.
It is important to mention the accident appeared rather deliberate.
“After reviewing the officers’ body camera footage, and all the other facts and circumstances of this case, Chief Scott Freeman terminated the employment of Officer Taylor Saulters,” the police department said in a statement. “Athens police Chief Scott Freeman initially placed Saulters on administrative leave, initiated an internal affairs investigation, and requested that the Georgia State Patrol and Georgia Bureau of Investigation conduct independent investigations of the incident.”
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