Atlanta

Phony cop standing in parking lot looked the part, but APD officer knew he wasn’t the real deal

ATLANTA — Atlanta police are warning the public about the dangers of people pretending to be police officers.

APD exclusively released body camera footage to Channel 2′s Michael Seiden that showed one of their officers confronting a phony standing out in a parking lot.

Police say Willie Jackson, 38, had a real uniform duty belt, badge, radio and body camera, was armed with a gun, handcuffs and a baton. They say he looked the part, but when an officer started questioning him, they knew something was off.

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An on-duty officer was looking for thieves trying to break into cars in a downtown parking lot early Sunday morning when he saw Jackson standing in the parking lot.

Police say the officer approached Jackson and chatted with him for a minute before walking away.

The officer says he trusted his instincts and called for backup.

“I looked him up on POST. I’m like, ‘What’s your name?’ He’s like, ‘I work at the airport.’ I’m like, ‘Who’s your supervisor?’ and he said ‘Sedeki.’ I don’t even know who that is. And I was like, ‘Which watch are you on?’ the officer can be heard saying.

Seiden reviewed the official incident report. In it, Jackson admits to investigators that he “was not a City of Atlanta police officer.”

It goes on to say that Jackson attempted the Atlanta Police Academy in 2016, but failed the physical exam.

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He also told investigators that he ordered his uniform from the same clothing vendor APD uses for its officers.

“We’re just, we are looking for anybody that may have interacted with this person. We want them to call our CrimeStoppers. We want to know what that interaction was like,” APD Sgt. John Chafee said.

APD says if you encounter someone you think is pretending to be an officer, you can ask for the officer’s ID or supervisor or you can call 911 and a dispatcher can confirm if an officer was sent to your location.

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