A Georgia police officer was caught on his own dashcam video telling an African American driver “I don’t care about your people.”
The bizarre incident of overt racism came out of the blue during a traffic stop. Far from denying it, the department tells us that officer Maurice Lawson did in fact say this, and that he has been disciplined and reassigned.
The footage is from traffic stop that occurred at around 2am. That’s when Brian Baker, 33, was pulled over for a “traffic violation” that was a dubious pretext at best for the stop.
But Baker isn’t the one being cited now. Cobb County police Capt. J.D. Adcock said that an investigation found Lawson had violated the department’s code of conduct during the stop, in an Atlanta suburb.
Baker did everything “right” that people – particularly within the African American community – are told to do when interacting with the police. Professionally, he is a middle school teacher, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.
He also maintains he was not speeding or “failing to maintain his lane.” When he saw the officer, in fact, he drove with meticulous care, to not give the officer any reason to stop him.
Still, the officer did. Lawson says to Baker, in the video, “Alright, I’m gonna give you two tickets. One for speeding, one for failure to maintain lane. Alright? If you don’t mind signing, that’s it.”
After signing the ticket, Baker asks if he can leave.
The officer then is heard responding, “Can you go? Leave. Go Away. Go to Fulton County. I don’t care about your people man, go.”
Astonished, the middle school teacher responded to the suburban cop, “you don’t care about my people? My people?”
The officer responded, mocking urban slang, saying “Go to Fulton County, cuz. Go. You’re pissing me off.”
When the driver again asked him – astonished – by the brazen racism being recorded on video, what he meant by “your people,” the officer responded, “Do you want to step out and talk to me?.
Baker responds, “what am I going to step out for? To fight the police, for what?”
After Baker leaves, the officer can be heard on camera saying “I lose my cool man, every time. Why do I got to deal with s*** like that? This is the f****** America we live in, ain’t it?”
Watch the video below and listen for yourself…
Adcock has since issued an apology letter, noting the steps the police department claims they are taking to stop racist incidences like this from occurring.
The letter reads, in part, that “The Cobb County Police Department does not now nor has ever condoned the behavior demonstrated by Officer Lawson during his interaction with you.
“Misconduct as demonstrated by Officer Lawson is a very serious violation of our Code of Conduct and not considered lightly,” it continues.
“Officer Lawson’s conduct as he spoke with you does not meet our high standards, has brought discredit to the department and himself, and is not now nor will ever be tolerated,” Adcock adds.
“I want to take this opportunity to personally apologize to you for the conduct that you experienced and want you to know that we have taken the extraordinary step of using formal discipline, enhanced training and reassignment in an effort to prevent similar incidents.”
But Baker says it is not enough.
“I’m a teacher,” he explained to AJC. “If I say something like that to a child, there would be a firestorm and immediately I would lose my job.
“Obviously, he’s not there to protect and serve me, or people of color.”
The same officer had previously been accused of profiling county commissioner Lisa Cupid, who is African American. She claims that she was followed and pulled over illegally, when she had committed no crime.
(Article by M. David and S. Wooten)