Welcome to WHAT NOW, a morning round-up of the news/fresh horrors that await you today.
After a white woman who was pulled over for for a DUI told a Cobb County, GA, police officer that she was afraid to move her hands for fear of getting shot, the cop reassured her: “We only kill black people.”
The exchange, made during a traffic stop last year, was first made public when the dashcam video was released on Wednesday evening in response to a records request by WSB-TV Atlanta.
In the video, the driver, who has not been identified, worries about moving her hands from the steering wheel to get her cellphone.
“Use your phone, it’s in your lap right there,” the officer, who Cobb County Police Chief Mike Register identified as Lt. Greg Abbott, can be heard saying in the video.
“I’ve just seen way too many videos of cops....” she responds, trailing off.
“But you’re not black. Remember, we only shoot black people,” Abbott replies. “Yeah. We only kill black people, right? All the videos you’ve seen, have you seen the black people get killed?”
Abbott, who’s been on the force for almost three decades, has been placed on administrative duties pending an internal investigation. The video is from July 2016, before Register become police chief. The department said in a statement on Wednesday that Register only found out about the dashcam video last Friday.
Lance LoRusso, the officer’s attorney, told WSB-TV that Abbott’s remarks “must be observed in their totality to understand their context.”
“He was attempting to de-escalate a situation involving an uncooperative passenger,” LoRusso said in a statement to the station. “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.”
Register said that Abbott has been a good officer and he wasn’t aware of any complaints against him related to racial bias.
“No matter what context it was said, it shouldn’t have been said,” he said.
- In today’s grim Hurricane Harvey news: A fire has broken out at a chemical plant in Crosby, TX, about 30 miles from Houston. It was initially reported as an “explosion,” though officials are now describing it as an “incident.” Whatever the case, it’s bad.
- Did you know that Sean Spicer was still working at the White House? Yeah, me neither. Anyway, it’s his last day today.
- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told TheSkimm that Donald Trump is basically exactly the same guy in private as he is in public.
- Trump tweeted that he had witnessed the devastation of Harvey “firsthand.” Shockingly, that was a lie.