Cobb County Police Chief Mike Register enters the room for a press conference at Emergency Operations Center in Marietta on Thursday, August 31, 2017. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Cobb approves retirement for cop who said “We only kill black people”

A Cobb police lieutenant set to be fired for making inappropriate racial comments has been allowed to retire immediately instead.

Lt. Greg Abbott was caught on camera telling a woman “we only kill black people” during a traffic stop. The woman, who appears to be white, was nervous about reaching for her phone in front of the officer.

"But you're not black,” he can be heard telling the woman in dash-cam video. “Remember, we only kill black people. Yeah, we only kill black people, right?”

The stop took place on July 10, 2016, just four days after Philando Castille was shot and killed by a Minnesota police officer after Castille informed the policeman he had a gun permit and was armed.

READ MORE: “No matter what context was, the statements were inexcusable and inappropriate”

Cobb County Police Chief Mike Register announced Thursday his intention to terminate Lt. Abbott’s employment during a press conference in Marietta. As Register addressed reporters and members of the community, Abbott was sending in his request to retire.

Cobb Public Safety Director Sam Heaton confirmed Friday that Abbott “did request an immediate retirement and we have approved his request.”

“He is entitled to his full retirement benefits and would have been even if terminated,” Heaton wrote in an email.

*This article has been updated.  The officer said “we only kill black people” not “we only shoot black people.” The AJC regrets the error. 

Community leaders are praising a local police chief who recommended firing one of his officers who was caught making controversial statements.


The AJC's Meris Lutz keeps you updated on the latest happenings in Cobb County government and politics. You'll find more on, including these stories:

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