In a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Lt. Greg Abbott, a Cobb County police officer, made the comments when he pulled over a white female driver during a DUI traffic stop last year.
The woman said she was scared to move her hands to get her cell phone because “I’ve just seen way too many videos of cops…” to which Abbott cuts her off and responds:
But you’re not black. 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?
Mike Register, who became chief of Cobb police after the incident occurred, said he just found out about the recording on Friday.
“No matter what context it was said, it shouldn’t have been said,” Register told Atlanta’s Channel 2.
Cobb County commission chairman Mike Boyce also voiced his displeasure with the remarks, saying “I have seen the video and obviously have great concerns. I find the comments on the video repugnant and offensive beyond measure.”
Suri Chadha Jimenez, who is representing the driver in the case, said he thinks the officer was being sarcastic after the woman “gave him some lip.”
“It makes you cringe when you hear it. It’s unacceptable,” Jimenez said.
Since the release of the footage Lance LoRusso, Abbott’s attorney, gave the following statement to Channel 2.
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.