LOVEJOY, Ga. — A local police chief says video of one of his officers screaming at a driver was so disturbing he immediately launched an Internal Affairs investigation. The officer is now suspended.
Lovejoy Police Chief Michael Gaddis says the incident happened Oct. 27 on Freeman Road.
“Driver’s license. Driver’s license.” That’s what video recorded by Aleta Roundtree shows the officer screaming as he stands outside a driver’s window.
“I just began to record because I seen that this was unprofessional,” she explained to Channel 2′s Tom Jones.
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The driver, who says in the video, she is pregnant, also began recording.
“Driver’s license now. Driver’s license,” it shows the officer repeatedly screaming after stopping the driver for an alleged stop sign violation.
The officer threatened to break her window when she was slow to hand it over.
“He’s threatening to hit my car,” she says in the video. She eventually threw her license out her window.
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Roundtree posted the video on social media.
“I posted it cause I wanted to expose this officer,” she said.
“We’re getting calls from New York. California. The majority of the calls are not in state,” said Gaddis.
Gaddis said callers are upset about the video and that his office had received from 50 to 100 calls. Gaddis said what’s on the video is not how his officers are taught to conduct traffic stops.
“When I saw this video, the video is disturbing,” he said.
Gaddis said he immediately opened an Internal Affairs investigation.
“He is suspended as of right now,” he said of the officer, whom he didn’t want to identify.
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In the video, the driver says she had filed a complaint against the officer before. She believed he was harassing her because of that.
“And that is being looked into also,” the chief explained.
Roundtree is in constant contact with the driver and says she is stressed out by all of this.
“She just feels unsafe at this time in her community,” she said.
The driver was arrested and faces charges for obstruction of an officer, stop sign violation and failure to obey a person directing traffic. Jones spoke to her by phone.
She said she wanted to get a lawyer before speaking to the media.
The chief asked the public to be patient as the investigation unwinds and he makes a decision about the officer’s fate. That could include termination.
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