Video of a traffic stop in Georgia went viral Thursday after the dash cam footage showed Lt. Greg Abbott of the Cobb County Police Department assuring a frightened woman she could move her hands since police “only kill black people.” Abbott, a 28-year veteran, was apparently trying to de-escalate the situation, according to his attorney. However, Cobb County Police Chief Mike Register placed Abbott on administrative leave and began an investigation. To bring the case to a close, Abbott has decided to retire before his superiors could fire him.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, as Register was announcing plans to fire Abbott, the officer sent an email to Cobb County officials declaring his intention to retire. It’s not yet known “how that development [will] affect the decision to fire the lieutenant.” According to Register, he and his command staff arrived at the decision to fire Abbott and informed him before Thursday’s press conference.
“Not only is Cobb County watching, but America is watching what we do to respond to these events,” Commission Chairman Mike Boyce said at the press conference. “What we told America today is that we are different. We believe in the rule of law. We believe in equal justice. We have a long way to go, but our journey is forward.”