The Latest: Georgia officer fired for racial comments

MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) – The Latest on the investigation into racial comments made by a police officer during a traffic stop that was caught on dash-cam video (all times local):

3:45 p.m.

A Georgia police chief said he is firing a lieutenant who was heard on video during a traffic stop saying “we only shoot black people.”

Dashcam video from July 2016 shows a woman in a car telling Cobb County police Lt. Greg Abbott she was scared to move her hands in order to get her cellphone. Abbott, who is white, interrupts her and says, “But you’re not black. Remember, we only shoot black people.”

Police Chief Mike Register told reporters Thursday that he has started the process to terminate Abbott’s employment.

Register said the comments were inappropriate regardless of the context in which they were uttered.

Register said he learned of the comments from a television station on Friday. Abbott had been placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of the investigation.

Abbott’s attorney did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the termination. He earlier said Abbott is cooperating with the investigation, and that his comments were meant to “de-escalate a situation involving an uncooperative passenger.”

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6:50 a.m.

A police lieutenant in Georgia has been moved to administrative duty after being heard on video during a traffic stop saying “we only shoot black people.”

News outlets report dash-cam video from July 2016 shows a woman in a car telling Cobb County police Lt. Greg Abbott she was scared to move her hands in order to get her cellphone. Abbott interrupts her and says, “But you’re not black. Remember, we only shoot black people.”

Police Chief Mike Register says Abbott will remain on administrative duty pending an investigation, and that “no matter what context it was said, it shouldn’t have been said.”

Abbott’s attorney, Lance LoRusso, said in a statement Abbott is cooperating with the investigation, and that his comments were meant to “de-escalate a situation involving an uncooperative passenger.”

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Categories: Regional News, State News – Georgia