Amid calls for his termination, a suburban Atlanta cop who allegedly told a motorist “we only kill black people” says he plans to retire.
Lt. Greg Abbott on Thursday announced plans to leave the Cobb County Police Department after his superiors reportedly said he would be fired.
Outrage over the alleged 2016 remarks brought Abbott’s 27-year career as a cop to a close.
“I don’t know what is in his heart,” Cobb County Police Chief Mike Register said at a press conference called following public outcry over dashcam footage that was released of the traffic stop. “But, I know what came out of his mouth.”
In audio from the traffic stop in June of last year, a female passenger said she didn’t want to reach for her phone because she’s “seen way too many videos of cops —” before Abbott apparently cuts her off.
“But you’re not black,” the officer said in the recording. “Remember, we only kill black people. Yeah, we only kill black people, right? All the videos you’ve seen, have you seen any white people get killed? You have.”
The audio was made public by WSB-TV following a public records request.
In a statement to the Washington Post, an attorney for Abbot said the cop’s words weren’t taken in their full context.
“His comments must be observed in their totality to understand their context,” the attorney said. “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.”
However, the chief of police said the comments were inappropriate “no matter what the context.”
“Statements like these are unacceptable and are not indicative of the type of culture we are trying to facilitate here in the police department, as well as within the county,” Register said.
An attorney for the driver of the car, whose case has been resolved since the incident, told InsideEdition.com:
“We are very happy about the response the cobb county police department took. it was great leadership and its great they’re taking this situation seriously. This will help in restoring the trust in the police department.”