A white Georgia police officer told a black driver that he’s not wanted in his county. “Leave. Go away. Go to Fulton County,” the officer said. In addition to that, he told the driver, “I don’t care about your people.”
The dashcam video shows the Nov. 16th incident in Cobb County in which an officer issues the driver two traffic citations.
When the driver, Brian Baker, asks what Officer Maurice Lawson’s remark meant exactly, Lawson replies, “I said Fulton County.”
At one point Lawson tells Baker, “Do you want to step out and talk to me?”
“Why do you need me to step out of the car?” Baker asks.
“Go back to Fulton County, sir,” Lawson says.
Lawson tells two other officers at the scene after Baker drives off, “I lose my cool, man, every time. Why do I got to deal with (stuff) like that. This is the (expletive) America we live in, ain’t it?”
The two officers with him are not identified.
Brian Baker is a 33-year-old middle school teacher.
Baker has now filled a complaint against Cobb County Police officer Maurice Lawson for the officer’s unprofessional behavior during a traffic stop in which he was issued two citations, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Cobb County police say they’ve disciplined and reassigned Lawson but as Mr. Baker’s lawyer said, “If I as a lawyer would say, ‘I don’t like your people,’ I would be terminated. My client is a school teacher, and if he told a student that, he would immediately be terminated.”
Baker did receive a letter on Nov. 24 from Capt. J.D. Adcock, which says Lawson violated the department’s code of conduct and noted that the violation is “very serious.”
“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,” Adcock wrote.
Baker thinks Officer Lawson should lose his job, just as he would if he acted in that manner at the school where he teaches.
“I’m a teacher. If I say something like that to a child, there would be a firestorm and immediately I would lose my job,” Baker said. “Obviously, he’s not there to protect and serve me, or people of color.
In another incident with Lawson, County Commissioner Lisa Cupid, who is black, accused of Lawson of profiling her, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Cupid says she was followed so aggressively by the officer that she thought he was going to hit her car from behind.
However, Commissioner Bob Weatherford said Cupid’s complaint, “has created division that in my view may impede her ability to govern her district.”
Cupid is the only democrat on the commission.
Not surprisingly, Baker said he doesn’t want to return to Cobb County.
“I’ve thought about it every day since it happened,” he said.
Which brings us back to Lawson’s remark, “This is the (expletive) America we live in, ain’t it?” Yes it is Officer, and you’re part of the problem.