Cobb County Police Chief Mike Register said on Thursday (Aug. 31) that the officer who told a white woman that “we only shoot black people” will be fired.
“I have known Lt. (Greg) Abbott for years and perceived him as honorable, but he’s made a mistake,” Chief Mike Register said at a press conference this afternoon. “I don’t know what is in his heart, but I know what came out of his mouth. We recommend that he be terminated and we are moving forward on that.”
Abbott has been on the force for 28 years.
The incident reportedly took place July 10, 2016 — just a few days after Minnesota police shot and killed Philando Castile, whose girlfriend recorded his death with her phone.
Channel 2 Action News first reported the existence of the Abbott tape in its newscast Wednesday. The footage shows the officer speaking through the car window to a female passenger in a vehicle that had been stopped for suspected DUI.
The woman tells Abbott that she is afraid to reach for her cell phone because “I’ve just seen way too many videos of cops … ” At that point, Abbott cuts her off.
“But you’re not black,” he says. “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?”
At this afternoon’s press conference, Register said, “I wish Lt. Abbott well. But I think that was very inappropriate for any police officer to say that, but especially one of our leaders in the department.”