A video recently surfaced of a Cobb County, Georgia police officer telling a woman at a traffic stop: “But you’re not black. Remember, we only kill black people. We only kill black people, right?”
Cobb County Police Chief Mike Register told WSB-TV that the officer in the video is Lt. Greg Abbott.
According to Register, an investigation has begun and Abbott has been assigned to administrative duties.
Register said the recording was part of a DUI stop. The woman whom Abbot stopped said she was scared to put her hands down and pick up a cellphone because she feared being shot.
“No matter what context it was said, it shouldn’t have been said,” Register stated.
The incident happened in 2016. After sitting on the video for a year, Register insisted: “We’re not making excuses. We’re meeting this head-on and we’re going to deal with it.”
Abbott’s lawyer, Lance LoRusso, defended Abbott to the news station:
Lt. Greg Abbott is a highly respected 28-year veteran of the Cobb County Police Department. He is cooperating with the department’s internal investigation and will continue to do so. His comments must be observed in their totality to understand their context.
He was attempting to de-escalate a situation involving an uncooperative passenger. In context, his comments were clearly aimed at attempting to gain compliance by using the passenger’s own statements and reasoning to avoid making an arrest.