Former cop Taylor Saulters had no trouble getting back into the job market after being fired for running over a fleeing Black suspect with his police cruiser. Just two days later, he returned to work as a sheriff’s deputy in a neighboring county.
Timmy Patmon, the man who was hit, did survive the incident. But the sequence of events show yet another instance in which Black lives do not matter.
Oglethorpe County Sheriff David Gabriel gushed over his new employee of the month on Facebook: “I have known him since he was a baby and I know he will be a great asset to our county.”
Less than a week ago, Saulters was fired by the Athens-Clarke County Police Department in Georgia. He and his then-partner, Hunter Blackmon, were pursuing Patmon, who was fleeing on foot. Blackmon was also on foot. Body cam footage shows that Saulters initially tries to use his vehicle to block Patmon. When that doesn’t work, Saulters rams him with his car. Patmon rolls up onto Saulters’ hood before collapsing onto the pavement.
As if that wasn’t enough, after striking Patmon with his cruiser, Saulters then threatens to Tase him.
“Give us your hands now or you’re gonna get Tased,” he says. “Do you understand me Make the right decision.”
Patmon was checked out at a hospital and then brought into custody. He had been wanted on a felony probation warrant.
After initially suspending him, Police Chief Scott Freeman fired Saulters one day later.
“The officer accelerates the vehicle, there is some wheel movement where it appears that steering wheel is being turned to strike Patmon,” Freeman said.
Gabriel, of Oglethorpe County, takes no issue with Saulters’ termination.
As for the man who was struck Patmon was just “a fleeing felon.” Gabriel has “no reservations” for the incident.
He wrote on Facebook of his new hire:
“If his name sounds familiar it is probably due to the fact that he was recently terminated by ACCPD for an incident where a fleeing felon struck his patrol car while he was attempting to apprehend him. In talking to Saulters the first question he asked was if our citizens supported law enforcement. Without hesitation I assured him they did and that we have excellent people that live in our county. I have no reservations about Dep. Saulters serving this community. As a citizen of Oglethorpe County you will find the wisdom of this decision in getting a deputy of this caliber. If you still have concerns I will discuss them with you if you contact me. If you are not an Oglethorpe County resident, I wouldn’t worry about it.”