The Georgia police officer who was captured on video comforting a woman he pulled over by telling her “we only kill black people” will be fired.
The news was confirmed by the Cobb County Police Chief Mike Register.
Chief Register said: “There’s really no place for these types of comments in law enforcement”. He added that the officer in question, Lt. Greg Abbott, would be terminated, according to US reports.
The footage, which was originally shot last year at a traffic stop, was leaked last month and received widespread backlash.
Abbott stood to lose his job for the remarks. However, Cobb County Public Safety Director Samuel Heaton said the department had received an e-mail from Abbott requesting immediate retirement.
“He was eligible for that. Once he retires he is no longer employed so no disciplinary action can take place. He is entitled to his retirement, which he would’ve received even if he was fired”, Heaton told US media.
An attorney for Abbott said the comments from the traffic stop “must be observed in their entirety to understand their context.”
Abbott, a 27-year veteran of the force, was attempting to de-escalate a situation involving an uncooperative passenger, attorney Lance J. LoRusso said in a statement.
The lawyer said the video showed that “his comments were clearly aimed at attempting to gain compliance by using the passenger’s own statements and reasoning to avoid making an arrest.”
But Cobb police Chief Mike Register said that no matter the context, the statements were “inexcusable and inappropriate”. He added that the comments did not reflect the culture he’s trying to build in the North Atlanta suburban force.
Register, who took over as chief in June, said an internal review recommended terminating Abbott’s employment.
“I’ve known Lt. Abbott for a number of years, and I’ve always perceived him to be an honourable man. He made a mistake. I don’t know what’s in his heart, but I certainly know what came out of his mouth. And, it’s inexcusable and we have to take appropriate action.”