A police officer from Athens-Clark County Georgia has been fired from the force after it was revealed he intentionally ran over a Black suspect with his cop car, reports ABC News.
Officer Taylor Saulters was suspended following the incident on Friday (Jun. 1). However, after an internal investigation, bodycam footage showed Saulters purposefully ramming his cruiser into the suspect. He was fired the next day.
“After reviewing the officers’ body camera footage, and all the other facts and circumstances of this case, Chief Scott Freeman terminated the employment of Officer Taylor Saulters,” the Athens-Clarke County Police Department said in a statement.
The suspect, Timmy Patmon, was wanted on a felony probation warrant and was attempting to get away on foot. In the video, Saulters is behind the wheel of the cop car, driving after Patmon. At first, the officer tried to block Patmon’s path, but he was unsuccessful. That is when he hit the suspect with the vehicle, causing him to roll over the hood and collapse onto the ground.
As Saulters exits the car to apprehend the victim, a woman is heard protesting the incident. “You didn’t have to hit that man like that!”
He then attempts to handcuff Patmon with his partner, officer Hunter Blackmon. The suspect appears to be mildly shocked and refuses to cooperate with commands to put his hands behind his back. Saulters then threatens that he will deploy his Taser if Patmon doesn’t stop resisting.
“Give us your hands now, or you’re going to get Tased,” the officer can be heard saying in the video. “Do you understand me? Make the right decision.”
Athens police Chief Scott Freeman has requested the Georgia State Patrol and Georgia Bureau of Investigation also investigate the incident.
Patmon was brought to the nearest hospital for examination but ultimately walked away with minor “scrapes and bruises.” He was taken into police custody after being discharged.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.