Two Georgia officers of the law are now on leave because a video surfaced showing them using a coin-toss app before deciding whether to arrest a woman caught speeding in April. The police chief has said he is “appalled” by the action.
“Why am I being arrested?” Sarah Webb is heard saying to Officer Courtney Brown in the bodycam footage. It was posted by an NBC affiliate in Atlanta which first reported the story.
Webb said on Friday that she was speeding because she was late for her job at a salon. She was ultimately arrested on charges of speeding, reckless driving and driving too fast for conditions, according to police records. But on Monday, a prosecutor dismissed the charges, the station reported.
The video shows Officer Brown and another officer, Kristen Wilson, discussing what they should do with Webb. Brown says that she doesn’t have speed detection equipment and Wilson says she doesn’t have any tickets.
Then he officers used the terms “A” or arrest for heads, and “R” for release for tails, according to the station. The video audio appears to show Wilson say “This is tail right?,” Brown says, “Yeah. So release?” and then Wilson says “23,” or a police code for arrest, the news station reported.
“These are people who are supposed to protect us, and instead are treating our freedom and our lives like games,” Webb, 24, told NBC News. ”It’s disgusting. It’s scary to think police officers do stuff like this.”
Roswell Police Chief Rusty Grant said that both officers have been placed on administrative leave and an internal investigation has been launched.
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, to be honest,” Grant told NBC News of the video. “It was appalling.”
“This isn’t a police procedure, to bring a coin flip — whether it’s an app or an actual coin toss — that’s not part of that decision making to decide to take someone’s freedom,” Grant said.
“I have much higher expectations of our police officers and I am appalled that any law enforcement officer would trivialize the decision making process of something as important as the arrest of a person,” he said.
In the police arrest report, Brown disclosed that she was on patrol on April 7 when a vehicle sped past her. She estimated in the report that the car was traveling around 85 mph in a 45 mph zone before it was pulled over.
Webb said she’s not satisfied with the officers being put on administrative leave, which she maintains is “a paid vacation.”
“I would like to see them fired, because they shouldn’t have been playing with my freedom on a flip of a coin,” she said.