A police officer in Alpharetta, Georgia, has been suspended over his handling of a 65-year-old diabetic grandmother during a traffic stop and an internal investigation has been opened into his conduct, Atlanta’s WSB-TV 2 reports.
A video shows an officer cursing and forcefully grabbing Rose Campbell on a Georgia highway on Friday.
“I’m going to be honest with you, I felt violated,” Campbell told the news station’s Mike Petchenik. “I felt not only that my space had been violated, but that he was not respecting me.”
Authorities told the station that Officer Michael Swerdlove pulled Campbell over for not staying in her lane.
“The vehicle was making a turn off Windward Parkway, swerved over into the officer’s lane, almost causing a collision,” department spokesman Howard Miller said. “He started to issue her a citation for failure to maintain lane. The driver did not agree with the officer and attempted to debate the nature of the traffic stop.”
Campbell said she did not want to sign the citation because she felt it would have been an admission of guilt.
Swerdlove asked Campbell to exit her vehicle, but she refused until his supervisor arrived. The video shows him opening her door and attempting to pull her out of her SUV.
“All I felt was his whole body over me and I could feel the weight over me, grabbing at my belt,” she said.
Several officers arrived after Swerdlove called for backup, including James Legg. Campbell agreed to exit the vehicle, but was cursed at and had her arm yanked by Legg.
The video shows Campbell screaming loudly as Legg continued to manhandle her.
“Am I in a movie? Is this a movie? I couldn’t believe it. It was surreal,” she told Petchenik. “I didn’t expect that in America. I didn’t expect that in Atlanta. I didn’t expect that especially in Alpharetta.”
After Alpharetta Police Chief John Robison reviewed the video, he suspended Legg.
“As I was watching the video, I had some major concerns about what I was seeing,” Robison said. “There are aspects of the video … that simply do not represent who we are as an organization.”
Campbell said she wants an apology from the city and the police department.
Check out the video below.
What's Your Reaction?
Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.