A white police lieutenant in Cobb County, Georgia, who told a woman during a traffic stop that “we only shoot black people” will be fired, the police chief said on Thursday.
“I have known Lt. (Greg) Abbott for years and perceived him as honorable, but he’s made a mistake,” Chief Mike Register said at a press conference in Marietta this afternoon. “I don’t know what is in his heart, but I know what came out of his mouth. We recommend that he be terminated and we are moving forward on that.”
The lieutenant has been on the force for 28 years.
The date stamp on the video is July 10, 2016 -- just a few days after a Minnesota police officer shot and killed Philando Castile, whose girlfriend recorded his death with her phone.
WSB-TV first reported the existence of the Abbott tape in its newscast Wednesday night. The footage shows the officer speaking through the car window to a female passenger in a vehicle who had been stopped for suspected DUI.
The woman tells Abbott that she is afraid to reach for her cellphone because, “I’ve just seen way too many videos of cops ... ” At that point, Abbott cuts her off.
“But you’re not black,” he says. “Remember, we only shoot black people. Yeah. We only kill black people, right? All the videos you’ve seen, have you seen the black people get killed?”
The footage is from July 2016. Register took over as chief of Cobb police in June of this year.
At this afternoon’s press conference, Register said, “I wish Lt. Abbott well. But I think that was very inappropriate for any police officer to say that, but especially one of our leaders in the department.”
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