ATLANTA — The Atlanta Police Department is shining a light on a group of officers who are taking on one of the most dangerous assignments they can encounter, traffic stops.
While the mini precinct in Buckhead is made up of diverse men and women, officials told Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Mark Winnie that there is a large number of Black female officers who work there.
“Compared to when I came to the department, this is very unusual to have this many females, especially this many Black females. And for this to be a traffic unit, you know traffic is one of the most dangerous calls that we could go on,” Sgt. Tiffany Hampton told Winnie.
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Hampton said they are bound together not only by their job but also because of their representation as Black female officers.
Officer Michaela Herring said she stopped two suspects last month who were accused of shooting random bystanders with an airsoft gun. The driver was out on bond for murder and the passenger was wanted for family violence.
“Put your hands up. What’s wrong with y’all?” Herring can be heard saying in body camera video of the incident. “Y’all know that’s a great way to get hurt?”
She says this is just one example of their hard job.
“We’re looking for people who are carrying contraband, people who are a danger to themselves or others. [We’re] just really keeping the community safe and a lot of those interactions start in the vehicle,” Herring told Winne.
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Winne asked one officer if she feels that she’s regarded differently as an officer because she’s a Black woman.
“That comes with the job, so you honestly have to love what you do,” Officer Butler said.
“I’m a Black female, not from this country with an accent. That doesn’t bother me,” Officer Philemond said.
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