Abbott's attorney argued that his comments were merely meant to "de-escalate a situation involving an uncooperative passenger."
WSB Atlanta reports that Lt. Greg Abbott of the Cobb County Police Department in Georgia was caught on camera telling a white woman that police only fire their weapons at black people.
On a dash-cam recording obtained by the local news organization, one can see Abbott approach the window of the car and explain to her, “Remember, we only shoot black people.”
Abbott had stopped a car with two occupants, one male driver and one female passenger, on suspicion that the driver was intoxicated. At one point in the stop, the officer asked the female passenger to use the phone in her lap.
The woman responded by saying she was hesitant to reach down because by putting her hands down she could give the impression that she was reaching for a weapon. She explained that she had seen videos where police officers have shot and killed civilians during traffic stops saying, “I’ve seen way too many videos of cops…”
It’s possible she was referencing the video of Philando Castile, a 32-year-old black man who was shot and killed by police in St. Paul during a traffic stop when he reached for his wallet, but was thought to be reaching for a gun.
In order to dissuade her fears, either sarcastically or sincerely, Abbott replied, “But you’re not black. Remember, we only shoot black people.”
He then continued to say, “Yeah. We only kill black people.”
Abbott’s attorney argued that his comments were merely meant to “de-escalate a situation involving an uncooperative passenger.”
Abbott will stay remain in his administrative position pending an investigation.
Next, learn about the police officer who encouraged drivers to run over peaceful protestors. Then, read about how the police chiefs organization formally apologized to people of color for the racist actions of police departments.