Two police officers in Georgia were fired on July 26, 2018, after footage from their body cameras showed them using a coin flip app to decide whether they would arrest a woman. The woman, Sarah Webb, was originally pulled over for a traffic stop.
Sometimes police officers abuse their power. In situations like the one here, your constitutional rights have been violated and you deserve justice. As a result, your charges could be reduced or even dismissed with the help of an experienced Georgia DUI lawyer.
When Police Break the Law
On April 7, 2018, two police officers: Courtney Brown and Kristee Wilson, pulled over Sarah Webb for a traffic violation. She was allegedly traveling at around 85 mph in an area with a speed limit of 45 mph. She claimed that she was driving to work at a hair salon and she was running late.
The two officers did not have any form of speed detection, like a radar gun, and therefore had the option to either arrest her or let her go free. Instead of making the decision based on rational, intelligent, or other legal reasons, the officers decided to pull up a coin flip app and let it decide.
Apparently, she didn't get the right side of the coin. The officers chose to arrest her for speeding, reckless driving, and driving too fast for the weather conditions. In the body cam video, you can hear Sarah saying "Why am I being arrested?" all while crying, confused by what was happening and why she was suddenly under arrest.
Local news got wind of the incident, which caused the police to put the two officers on administrative leave -- two months after the incident first took place. The two officers were later fired for their misconduct.
Using Dash or Body Cam Video Evidence
Georgia police officers often have either a video camera attached to their vehicle or to their body. Police officers use this video as evidence against criminal defendants. In many cases, this video evidence can show:
- the reasons for the initial traffic stop;
- police conduct before, during, and immediately after the stop and arrest;
- any field sobriety tests performed by the stopped driver;
- the moment of the arrest; or
- possible police misconduct.
The dash cam video or body cam may provide essential evidence to be used to defend your case. If there is evidence of police misconduct because of a failure to protect your civil rights, your case may be reduced or dismissed.
Defending Your Case: Police Misconduct
If Georgia law enforcement acted inappropriately during your arrest for a traffic violation or driving under the influence (DUI), that misconduct could be used to help defend your case. A lawyer may be able to
- challenge the reasons behind the initial traffic stop,
- suppress evidence improperly obtained due to police officer misconduct, or
- negotiate a plea or dismissal based on misconduct or other issue created by a police officer's failure to follow proper procedure or the law.
Consult a Georgia DUI Attorney
If you have been charged with a traffic crime or DUI, your freedom is at stake. Do not plead guilty to your charge(s). If the police violated the law or your constitutional rights, you may be able to have any evidence flowing from that violation suppressed by motion for the same. And suppressed evidence could lead to reduced charges or dismissal of your case.