“We only kill black people,” police officer says during traffic stop

“A police department in Georgia is firing one of its officers after he was recorded on a dashboard camera trying to convince a white woman that she had nothing to worry about during a traffic stop because she was not black,” as The New York Times is reporting.

“The video, obtained by WSB Channel 2 Action News in Atlanta, shows Lt. Greg Abbott of the Cobb County Police Department standing at the side of a car during a traffic stop last year. He tells the woman, a passenger, that she could use her cellphone.

“’It’s in your lap right there,’ he says. She replies that she does not want to move her hands, saying she has seen “way too many videos” about how the police behave at traffic stops.

“’But you’re not black,’ Lieutenant Abbott replies. ‘Remember, we only kill black people. Yeah. We only kill black people, right?’

“WSB-TV published an excerpt from the interaction on Thursday after it obtained the video through an open-records request.

“At a news conference Thursday afternoon, Chief Mike Register of the Cobb County Police Department said the comments were ‘inexcusable and inappropriate.’

“’I’ve known Lieutenant Abbott for a number of years, and I’ve always perceived him to be an honorable man. But he made a mistake,’ Chief Register said, adding that the department had begun the process of firing him.”

The rest of the article is here.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

9 thoughts on ““We only kill black people,” police officer says during traffic stop”

  1. By the way, regarding the cop’s comment about only shooting black people, I notice that he made that remark on July 10, 2016. So, the fact that he is only leaving the force now suggests either/or both of these possibilities: (1) nobody reviews those dash cams (2) nobody on the force cared what he said until (through a freedom of information request) it became public and scandalous.

    By the way (and I think I reported this once before on this blog) when I was in the Army National Guard at the (LA) Watts Riot in August of 1965, a cop — confidentially but pleasantly — told our (all white) platoon one day that he loved the riots, because then “it’s open season on ni**gers.”

    I cant’ tell if things are better or worse than in 1965. It doesn’t look a whole lot better to me.

    1. I came from a small very racially mixed farming town in central CA. I had two high school friends, brothers, who were racially unbiased, something acquired via sports. One of them even lived with another friend, who was black, for a couple of years while attending college. The brothers, first one then the other, later moved to LA and joined the LAPD. Their view on race changed almost overnight. They became bigots of the first order. There was, and still is, something wrong with the culture of LAPD.

  2. It is all about the fear instilled in our population by the gun industry. Civilians and police alike are afraid they will be shot, so there is this aura of paranoia clouding events as mundane as a traffic stop. The gun industry mouth, the NRA, has come up with brilliant solutions to preventing gun violence, like preventing spousal abuse by arming women (a new market they are trying to cultivate) or stopping school violence by arming teachers. Every solution the gun nuts have to gun violence seems to revolve around arming more people. How stupid can you get? Fear breeds fear and violence breeds violence. If police start showing up in armored vehicles and swat gear and start shooting at people with rubber bullets, sooner or later someone will start throwing molotov cocktails and shooting back.

    Tyrants, historically, have provoked violence and often instigated violence so they could further clamp down on public resistance. This is the road trump is taking the country down; toward a police state, so when the ‘have nots’ get tired of eating cake and get out in the streets the mechanisms are in place to quell the uprising and protect the rich folk’s bling.

    1. Joe: Wow, well said. And BTW, I like your lower-case spelling of “trump.” I’m always looking for new and interesting ways to diminish him, but I confess I can’t keep up with the rapid rate at which he’s diminishing himself!

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