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Georgia cop who said 'We only shoot black people' will retire

Department was preparing to fire him over comments
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Posted at 1:36 PM, Aug 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-01 07:45:16-04

The career of a Georgia police lieutenant is over following his comment to a frightened white driver during a traffic stop that "we only shoot black people."

Lt. Greg Abbott, of the Cobb County Police Department, was moved to administrative duty this week over the comment, which he was recorded as saying on July 10, 2016, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Abbott's body camera footage, which came to light after it was requested by Atlanta's WSB-TV, shows him pulling over a white female driver.

 

In the video, the woman tells Abbott she's afraid to move her hands because, "I've just seen way too many videos of cops..."

"But you're not black," Abbott says, cutting her off mid-sentence. "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?"

Cobb County Police Chief Mike Register told WSB, "No matter what context it was said, it shouldn't have been said."

On Thursday, Register told reporters at a news conference that the department was planning to fire Abbott, who had 28 years on the job with Cobb County.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that as Register was making his announcement regarding the lieutenant's termination, Abbott announced he was retiring in an email to the county.

A lawyer for the woman whom Abbott pulled over said he suspected the lieutenant was being "sarcastic," according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

The newspaper had reported that the department was investigating Abbott's conduct in the video. It's unclear how its findings could affect Abbott's retirement, including his pension and benefits.

Clint Davis is a reporter for the Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @MrClintDavis. Keep up to date with the latest news by following @ScrippsNational on Twitter.