'We only kill black people,' cop tells frightened woman on dashcam video

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A police lieutenant in Georgia who was recorded on video during a traffic stop saying "we only shoot black people" has been reassigned to administrative duty. (WLS)

A police lieutenant in Georgia who was recorded on video during a traffic stop saying "we only kill black people" has been reassigned to administrative duty.

Dashcam video from July 2016 shows a car stopped on the side of a road and a woman can be heard telling Cobb County police Lt. Greg Abbott she was scared to move her hands in order to get her cellphone, WSB-TV reported. Abbott, who also is white, interrupts her and says, "But you're not black. Remember, we only kill black people. Yeah. We only kill black people, right?"

Abbott, who has been an officer in Cobb County for more than 20 years, will remain on administrative duty pending an investigation, the chief said.

"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," police Chief Mike Register said in an emailed statement.

Abbott's attorney, Lance LoRusso, said in a statement that Abbott is cooperating with the investigation, and his comments were meant to "de-escalate a situation involving an uncooperative passenger."

"No matter what context it was said in, it should not have been said," Register said.

Lawyer Suri Chadha Jimenez said he represented the driver in the DUI case.

"It makes you cringe when you hear it," Chadha Jimenez said.

Chadha Jimenez said he believes the officer was being sarcastic after the passenger gave him some lip, but the fear minorities have when stopped is real.

"It's still unacceptable," Chadha Jimenez said.

Register said Abbott has been a heretofore good officer and he's not aware of any racial bias complaints. He said the incident occurred last year before he became chief and before an International Association of Chiefs of Police report giving the Cobb Police Department a high community approval rating but also mentioning a perception of discriminatory and biased policing.

He said the brass has responded by instituting a faith forum, precinct discussion groups, training changes, and more.

"We are going to keep going forward to make sure we as a police department service the community in a most professional way all segments of the community," Register said.

The Associated Press and WSB-TV contributed to this report.

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policepolice officerdashcam videoracial profilingracisminvestigationnational