Routine police traffic stops have been notoriously dangerous for Blacks in America, resulting in the deaths of Sandra Bland, Philando Castile and Samuel DuBose, to name a few. But an unarmed, 65-year-old Black woman, a grandmother, would be safe when stopped by cops, right Wrong.
Alarming dashcam footage shows Rose Campbell, who was driving for Lyft at the time, being cursed out and pulled from her car during a routine traffic stop in Alpharetta, Ga., on May 4 after an officer said he observed her swerve into a neighboring lane.
In a news conference on Friday, the Alpharetta Police Department rebuked Officer James H. Legg’s actions. Legg told Campbell to “Shut the f*** up and get out of the car!” while using excessive force.
“Officer Legg, when he arrived on the scene, engaged in the incident and apparently lost his cool and his temper, and acted inappropriately with his words and his actions,” Officer Howard Miller, the department spokesperson, said.
At the traffic stop, Campbell repeatedly refused to sign her citation, according to the incident report.
The video shows that as she pleaded with the first officer to wait until his supervisor arrives in order to sign the paper, he tries to remove her from the car.
“This is abusive behavior,” Campbell says.
He makes a call for backup and a second officer arrives and tries to help him pull her from the car. When the situation begins to escalate, the Lyft passenger is seen leaving the car.
Campbell then says that she would come out the car if they take their hands off of her. The two officers begin to comply.
Then Officer Legg arrives and yells at Campbell, “You’re not in charge! Shut the f*** up and get out of the car!”
Legg grabs Campbell’s arm and pulls it behind her back as she screams in pain. Once she is handcuffed, the officer aggressively pulls her forward before she is led to the police car.
Legg confirmed Friday that he had been suspended and subsequently resigned after the department launched an internal investigation. In his resignation letter, which the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety posted on Facebook, he wasn’t apologetic.
“I feel I acted appropriately and the way that I was trained when I arrested Ms. Campbell,” he wrote.
Legg goes on to tell his version of the events and came to the conclusion that disrespecting Campbell, telling her to “Shut the f*** up,” was effective.
He said he “did what was necessary to complete the arrest by raising my voice and using verbal commands using heavy control talk with profanity.”
Legg later ponders, “Maybe I should not have used profanity. But its immediate effectiveness is not questionable and I do believe I acted reasonably under the circumstances.”
So, in other words, aggressiveness and cursing out Black people and elders is reasonable behavior for a public servant That’s alarming, to say the least, as Black motorists are pulled over by police at rates exceeding those for whites.
“I didn’t expect that in America,” Campbell said to a local news station about her ordeal. “I didn’t expect that in Atlanta. I didn’t expect that especially in Alpharetta.”