“We Only Kill Black People”: Was Georgia Officer Fired for Being Racist or for Telling the Truth?
by G. Brown
A Cobb County Georgia officer is out of work after being caught on camera during a traffic stop saying cops only kill Black people.
The officer was a police lieutenant who can be heard in the dashcam video talking with a White female driver who he pulled over for a routine traffic stop. The officer is apparently trying to get the woman to hand him maybe her license or car registration, but she isn’t complying until she finally admits she’s frightened to put her hands downs because she had “seen way too many videos of cops.” Officer Greg Abbott responds ” You’re not Black. Remember, we only kill Black people. Yeah, we only kill Black people, right?” Here’s the full video of that encounter…
That video came from Atlanta TV News station WSB which at the time reporters said the incident was under an internal investigation. Since it’s release, that officer has now been fired.
The former officers’ lawyer defended Abbott saying “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.”
Cobb County Police Chief Mike Register disagreed with Abbott’s attempt to explain his comment and said, “No matter what context it was said, it shouldn’t have been said.”
Abbott had been a police officer for 27 years…nearly three decades of taking his perspective, his beliefs with him on a job that put the lives of people in his hands everyday. Maybe Abbott was trying to make a point by using the woman’s own words against her meaning “you’re White, you’re not in danger”. But the context in which he said it doesn’t really matter. The truth is in any context–that statement is believable as a pervasive attitude with police.The truth is if that driver had been a Black woman , would the officer have shown the same patience in trying to talk her into complying with his request? The White female driver had the opportunity to talk back, not immediately comply and even make a disparaging comment about police in general. Would this scenario have ended differently had that driver been Black?
Should the cop have been fired? Yes and no. Yes because his words indicate racist views which bring along an ‘all Blacks are guilty’ attitude. But no because he was in essence fired for speaking what many people believe to be the truth after Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray and the numerous other unarmed Black suspects who have died at the hands of police. It does seem Officer Abbott was fired simply because he told the truth.
What would have happened if the video didn’t exist? This incident happened in July 2016, but the officer wasn’t fired until the video went public. So did Cobb County police take more than a year to investigate this incident? If the officer was wrong in August of 2017 when he was fired why wasn’t it wrong in July of last year? Why take more than a year to fire him?
A footnote to this incident…if White people are scared of police and they’re not as Abbott said the race of people being killed by cops, how do you think Black people feel?
Yes, Abbott should have been fired. There’s little comfort in his termination though–what about all the other officers who also believe its okay to kill Blacks, but they’re smart enough not to admit it with a dashcam rolling.
What do you think?…