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Police officers in Alpharetta, Georgia are under internal investigation after disturbing dashcam footage of them dragging an elderly woman from her car during a routine traffic stop surfaced.
According to ABC News, the Alpharetta Police Department posted the troubling video and included a statement from Public Safety Chief John Robison. The video, taken from the squad car dashcam shows the May 4 incident in graphic detail.
Rose Campbell, was reportedly pulled over and issued a ticket for failure to maintain her lane, according to WSB-TV. But when Campbell refused to sign the ticket, which is against the law in Georgia, Officer Michael Swerdlove told her she was under arrest.
Things escalated when an officer aggressively began screaming and cursing at Campbell. He then can be seen grabbing Campbell and trying to pull her out of her vehicle.
“You’re not in charge, shut up and get the f— out of the car!” he’s heard saying on the video.
Rose Campbell can be heard crying out for help from a supervisor.
After the backlash the Officer, identified by WSB as James Legg was suspended pending an internal investigation. Instead of awaiting the outcome the officer reportedly chose to resign.
Here is the statement of resignation from Officer James Legg:
Dear Chief Robison,
Effective immediately, and regrettably, I quit.
Since 1995, I have dedicated myself to public service. As you know, I retired from the military and served in law enforcement in Florida before moving to Georgia. Unfortunately, an incident on May 4, 2018 led me to write this letter to you.
I feel I acted appropriately and the way that I was trained when I arrested Ms. Campbell. As you saw on the video, Ms. Campbell almost drove into another Alpharetta police officer. She was lawfully stopped for failing to maintain her lane. Although she denied the traffic violation, the officer issued her a ticket. Due to her behavior on the side of the road, and after noticing the car had dark tint and there was someone in the backseat, the officer asked her to get out and at some point advised she was under arrest. Ms. Campbell did not obey a lawful command. The officer was unable to subdue the driver and requested for backup officers to come to his location. Numerous Alpharetta police officers arrived, including me.
At the time I arrived on scene, I saw officers unsuccessfully trying to effectuate the arrest of Ms. Campbell. Also, I noticed the vehicle was still running and from my experience, I considered the vehicle to be a possible weapon, so I neutralized it by turning it off. There are uncounted incidents of officers being dragged down the street by motorists who are being arrested. The officers were still not able to complete the arrest of Ms. Campbell as she was still in the vehicle and holding on to the seatbelt. I did what was necessary to complete the arrest by raising my voice and using verbal commands using heavy control talk with profanity. It worked instantly and she exited the vehicle immediately! When the other officers did not immediately restrain and handcuff her I then freed her from her grasp on the seatbelt and she was escorted to the police vehicle. All force ceased and the arrest was now over. I judged her actions to be passive resistance and used very limited force to end a multiple minute encounter with the suspect.
Maybe I should not have used profanity, but its immediate effectiveness is not questionable and I do believe I acted reasonably under the circumstances.
I do not feel I will get a fair internal affairs investigation from you due to the comments you made on Facebook prior to interviewing any of the other officers, or even me. Rather than let an independent agency or officer review my performance, you have all but issued a statement finding my actions unworthy, unreasonable, and in violation of policy. I will justify my actions when given the opportunity to do so through a POST investigation, but will not subject myself to the investigation of an agency Chief who would rather care about public perception and political correctness over officer, suspect and the general public’s safety. I remind you that I did not make the traffic stop, did not begin the use of force, did respond with emergency equipment, did properly analyze the situation, did render the vehicle safe, did get the suspects attention and out of the car, did effectively get her detached from the seatbelt, and did get her handcuffed with limited force. The encounter had been going on with multiple officers responding with emergency equipment leaving the general public unprotected while the encounter continued. In conclusion, I feel my decisions ended a volatile situation quickly with very limited force and got everyone off the highway and back into service.
Clearly the video tells a different story than the one Officer Legg tries to justify in his letter of resignation.