US cop quits after saying 'we only shoot black people'

  • 01/09/2017
US cop quits after saying 'we only shoot black people'
Photo credit: WSB-TV

A police officer from the US state of Georgia who was shown on video telling a woman during a traffic stop not to worry because police "only kill black people" has retired, his lawyer said, after authorities sought the officer's dismissal.

The dashboard video shows the officer standing by a car pulled over alongside a road last year and instructing the woman in the front passenger seat to use the phone in her lap to make a call.

"Okay I just don't want to put my hands down," the woman tells the officer, adding that she has seen "way too many videos of cops," before trailing off.

"But you're not black," the officer replies. "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?"

Officials have identified the officer as Lieutenant Greg Abbott.

Numerous videos in recent years have shown US police officers killing unarmed black people during encounters, sparking debate about excessive use of force and racial disparities in the criminal justice system.

"This afternoon, after 27 years of faithful service to the citizens of Cobb County, Lt. Greg Abbott made the decision to retire," his lawyer, Lance LoRusso, said.

Earlier on Thursday, Cobb County Police Chief Mike Register said he knows Mr Abbott to be "honourable" but that authorities would begin the process of firing him.

"I don't know what's in his heart but I certainly know what came out of his mouth, and it's inexcusable," Register said.

Suri Chadha Jimenez, a lawyer who represented the car's driver, said the officer responded in an "unprofessional" way to what he saw as the reasonable concern of the woman, whom he described as a friend of the driver.

The driver was later convicted of driving while under the influence of alcohol, Mr Jimenez said.