The Georgia police officer caught on video telling a driver that cops “only kill black people” has opted to retire rather than face punishment for his conduct.
Dashcam footage obtained by local CNN affiliate WSB-TV and published Wednesday shows Cobb County Police Lt. Greg Abbott, a 27-year veteran of the force, as he conducted a traffic stop on a female driver in July 2016.
“I’ve just seen way too many videos of cops,” the driver says.
“But you’re not black,” Abbott replied. “Remember, we only kill black people.”
In a statement to CNN, an attorney for Abbott said the officer was merely trying to “gain compliance by using the passenger’s own statements and reasoning to avoid making an arrest.”
Still, Abbott ultimately opted not to defend his actions and on Friday requested immediate retirement rather than risk staying on and being fired, which had been recommended by an internal review. Cobb Police Chief Mike Register also described the statements as “inexcusable and inappropriate,” leaving little doubt about Abbott’s future with the force.
But thanks to his quick email, Abbott will instead return to civilian life with his standing intact.
“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 were fired,” Cobb County Public Safety Director Samuel Heaton told CNN.