The Cobb County, GA police officer who during a traffic stop told a frightened woman, “we only kill black people,” will no longer be a part of the troubled police department.
Cobb County Police Chief Mike Register said during a news conference on Thursday afternoon that Lt. Greg Abbott — a 27-year police veteran — was being removed from the department. Register called Abbott’s conduct “inexcusable and inappropriate.”
The Police Chief just announced that this officer will be fired. https://t.co/kdwP2EcH7j
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) August 31, 2017
The incident took place during July 2016, but was only recently revealed via dash cam footage. Abbott, who is white, had pulled over a driver on suspicion of DUI. A white woman in the car as a passenger said she was scared to move her hands down to get her cell phone because she was afraid she might be shot. She said she had “seen too many videos of cops.”
A Cobb County cop tells a terrified white woman they only murder black people but white America wonders why #BlackLivesMatter is necessary.
— Lauren (@_Elle_Spencer_) August 31, 2017
Abbott, reassuring her, said, “but you’re not black. Remember, we only kill black people. Yeah, we only kill black people, right?”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted that the video is dated July 10, 2016, shortly after police in Minnesota killed Philando Castile during a traffic stop, an incident which was recorded and shared by Castile’s girlfriend.
The incident is apparently not an isolated one for the Cobb County Police Department, as an Association of the Chiefs of Police study found that the department must do better at acknowledging and addressing public perceptions of racism from the department. The study was commissioned after the department was at the center of several incidents involving racism that became national news.
Before Register announced that Abbott would be terminated, he was on administrative leave and the department had opened a formal investigation into the matter, but the turnaround was surprisingly swift, considering the story only really went viral earlier Thursday. Register said he was dismayed that the incident happened at all, but that the statements came from one of the leaders in the department.
Watch the footage of the incident below: