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Officer who told woman 'we only kill black people' retires

Officer who told woman 'we only kill black people' retires
Officer who told woman 'we only kill black people' retires
Posted at 8:20 AM, Sep 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-01 06:14:17-04

ATLANTA (WSB/CNN) - An officer was caught on camera telling a woman "we only kill black people" during a traffic stop outside Atlanta made the decision to retire after the police chief decided to fire him.

"If you're thinking that I'm walking up here to make an excuse today about the comments that were made on the video, you're wrong," said Cobb Police Chief Mike Register.

When a woman said she didn't want to put her hands down during a traffic stop, Lt. Greg Abbott said, "But you're not black. Remember? We only kill black people. Yeah, we only kill black people, right. All the videos you've seen, have you see white people get killed? You have."

"I don't know what was in his heart, but I certainly know what came out of his mouth. And it's inexcusable. And we have to take appropriate action. The recommendation is to terminate his employment from the Cobb County Police Department," he said. "This badge and this uniform should mean that there's justice and fairness for all." 

Attorney Suri Chadha Jimenez says the video is from a July 2016 DUI stop, and he represented the driver, though the comments were directed at a female passenger. 

"I felt that she was being honest about having concerns," Jimenez said.

Register was not the police chief of Cobb County in July 2016.

Some praised the decision to fire the officer.

"But if there's any silver lining, it's been the active response of our leadership here in Cobb County," said Lisa Cupid, District 4 commissioner.

"In the climate that we're in right now, we have no place for any type of statements like that," Gerald Griggs of the Georgia NAACP said.

"We have hope here in Cobb that we have a chief and leadership that is serious about bringing this department to be one of the better ones in the nation," Dr. Ben Williams with the SCLC said.

Before Register's announcement about his recommendation, Abbott's lawyer Lance LoRusso texted, "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."

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