Police

Watch Georgia Cops Flip a Coin and Joke Before Arresting a Woman for Speeding

The officers are now on administrative leave.

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Body-cam footage from an April traffic stop appears to show two Georgia cops using a coin-toss phone app to decide whether they'd arrest a driver for speeding in the rain. The officers, Courtney Brown and Kristee Wilson of the Roswell Police Department, wound up ignoring the results of the coin toss and following ordinary police procedure. But the very idea of leaving such a weighty choice up to chance has led to a national controversy.

The footage—first reported by the Atlanta station 11 Alive—shows Brown approaching Sarah Webb's car. Webb tells Brown that she was speeding because she was late to work. Brown replies that speeding in wet conditions means that she'd likely receive a reckless driving charge. Brown then goes back to the cruiser, where Wilson is waiting. After noting that Webb does not have any speeding tickets, the pair pul up a coin toss app on Brown's phone:

Wilson: A [arrest] head, R [release] tail.
Brown: OK. (sound of coin flip, laugh)
Wilson: This is tail, right?
Brown: "Yeah. So release?"
Wilson: 23. (code for arrest)
Brown: Michael Jordan? (laugh) All right, so I've got too fast (laugh) for conditions, reckless…

Though the coin toss' result meant that Webb would have gone free, Brown and Wilson decided to follow through with the arrest anyway. Brown returned to Webb's vehicle, arrested Webb for reckless driving, and then placed her in the back of the cruiser.

Webb didn't learn about the coin toss until 11 Alive contacted her months later about the video. The charges against Webb were thrown out shortly before the video was made available to the public; the prosecutor reportedly refused to prosecute the case after watching the body camera footage.

Police Chief Rusty Grant released a statement via Facebook the day after the incident became viral. Grant said he was "appalled that any law enforcement officer would trivialize the decision-making process of something as important as the arrest of a person." Roswell Mayor Lori Henry also criticized the officers' actions on Facebook, calling the behavior "inexcusable and unprofessional."

Henry also asked her constituents to have faith in an investigation being conducted by the department's Office of Professional Standards. Brown and Wilson have been placed on administrative duty while the investigation continues. Since the officers appear to allude in the footage to the tactic being used previously, 11 Alive reporters are looking into whether there's a larger story here.

11 Alive has also posted a longer, 23-minute video to provide more context.

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  1. RYFK? They followed procedure.

    If you guys had any idea what surgeons actually said in the operating room, you’d want them all banned for malpractice.

    snowflakes, all of you.

      1. The only actionable thing is the admission of falsifying the hemorrhoids.

        How many of us would last 5 minutes under cross examination about a recording of our lunch conversations?

        1. I don’t know about you, but my lunch conversations rarely carry the force of law behind them.

        2. Deny til you die

      2. Half of a million bucks for that?!?! No wonder medical care costs so much!!!

  2. The one who said she was going 80 didn’t even have a radar gun.

    1. Ya think that might be the real reason the charges were dropped?

  3. Heads we win, tails you lose.

  4. Let this be a lesson to you. Police work is a Serious Matter?. At no point is it legal to introduce levity into your job, not even in private. You must, at all times, even in private, even in your sleep, promote the Serious Matter? brand. Any failure to do so, even when it is done in the exclusive company of your fellow law enforcement officers, can be met with punitive measures.

    Seriously, two cops, in private, stopped for a moment of levity, and then proceeded with the arrest because they found the behavior to be reckless. Had they NOT arrested her, “because the Magic 8 Ball said so”, THEN I could see doing something about it.

    Seriously. Two cops were reprimanded for doing the Right Thing, because they were recorded THINKING the Wrong Thing, and that thought did not, in any way, suggest an alternative, unsupportable, reason for stopping and arresting the girl. She wasn’t even aware of it, so you can’t even say they were toying with her. If we want cops to wear cameras to keep them honest, then this stuff has to be given a pass. If we want cops to see bodycams as a no-win situation, then by all means, punish these things to the hilt, and the things will “mysteriously malfunction” more and more.

    Frankly, if we have to have cops, I want these two ladies patrolling near my house. They were courteous throughout, and did not exercise power for the sake of feeling the rush or seeing their victim squirm.

    1. Being arrested and spending months of your life and thousands of dollars in the meat grinder of the legal system may be the height of levity to you and these fun-lovin’ fascists, but I’m afraid the rest of us just don’t have a sense of humor.

      1. Take it up with the people who made the laws in the first place.

      2. If you want to argue that the punishment for this crime is an Eighth Amendment violation, that is a separate argument from whether or not this law should be enforced, or whether or not a little private levity is grounds for invalidating the arrest.

        Heck, I’ll probably even agree with you that it’s likely an Eighth Amendment violation, but I still hold that this law is reasonable and prudent, and a just delineation between the rights of the motorist and the rights of everyone else.

    2. At least she didn’t say Meow

    3. You make a good point. I have more of a problem with them not having a speed reading. Having to hit 90 to catch up doesn’t mean the woman was going 80.

      It seemed clear to me that the coin toss was not really a factor in the cop’s decision, just some workplace nonsense.

    4. If we want cops to wear cameras to keep them honest, then this stuff has to be given a pass.

      I wasn’t going to say anything until you mentioned this. From 2:21 to 2:41, there is pretty clearly some non-verbal communication happening off camera. The fact that questions are (not) answered the way they are indicates a level of premeditation or conspiratorial action (neither of which is illegal). I don’t entirely disagree about the levity, but there’s the beginnings of illegal behavior patterns. They could’ve just as easily been plotting to plant drugs or ‘smell marijuana’ on the woman in the stopped car.

    5. It was a moment of levity and she was put in a position where she could either pursue full charges or go a bit easy. I’m not sure how that is enough to be a big deal to get the woman off on all charges and to justify the officer receiving more than a reprimand.

      1. Because she abandoned any semblance of professionalism, and did it on camera. When she keeps the “coin flips” in her head, then we don’t have the evidence that she acted COMPLETELY arbitrary in her decision. In this case, we have the evidence.

        1. What about when the decision is an actual tossup? The decision is then arbitrary even if “gut feeling” is the deciding factor. If I was the woman being arrested, I’d be pissed off about it but the officers still followed protocol.

          1. They didn’t follow protocol because coin flips are not part of their protocols. They have to base their reasoning on SOMETHING. If their opinion is to arrest, they need to justify it on the stand. If their opinion is not to arrest, they need to justify it to their superiors. Nowhere does “because it came up tails” work as a valid reason.

            If you would argue that it’s always a coin flip (in their heads) and that they just bullshit their way into justification, I won’t disagree. And when people wonder how cops could possibly be biased (against blacks, against the poor, against women, etc) then this should be the obvious answer. Because we build in SO much wiggle room that the cops then make completely arbitrary reasons. If there’s so much gray area, then something is very clearly wrong with the law. (hint: there IS something very clearly wrong with the law…)

    6. There’s no such thing as privacy when your being recorded by cameras. And whether you like it or not, that wasn’t professionalism. If she was going to arrest her then the officer should have consulted with the other officer, informed the woman and then gone through with it. At worst they should have slapped her with an expensive ticket, but because they wanted to be cute it was all for naught.

    7. Arresting someone for something so trivial is absurd. It’s a perfect example of why the United States has imprisoned more people than any other dictatorship in the history of the planet. Caging people does not do what you think it does.

      1. 80 in a 45, in the rain, is not trivial. You people are dipshits

        1. You’re projecting. Just because driving is hard for you doesn’t mean it’s hard for everyone. Pre-emptive laws are too “Minority Report” for any libertarian to endorse.

      2. Everything in Georgia is a misdemeanor or felony. There are no infractions in this state. Every speeding ticket is a misdemeanor. Normal procedure is ticket but you can be arrested.

        You can also demand a jury trial for speeding. Almost nonody does thought because judges try and scare you into not doing it.

    8. There is absolutely NO reason for an arrest for speeding. The “reckless” driving charge is a joke. “The roads were wet!” Yeah so?

      What a joke.

      1. Really? So 100 mph through the cross walk when school lets out is just a simple mail-in fine?

  5. This is at most a case of two officers acting unprofessionally. You can see the clip at the end where the woman is flying through an intersection, and the “coin toss” had no bearing on the actual result.

  6. What a snotty c**t that cop was. Obviously had some kind of hair (or something, anyway) up her ass. Certainly seems like she was trying to get a reaction from the driver by repeatedly badgering her about her speed.
    Also, raining? No, at some earlier point in the day it had apparently rained (per the snot nosed cop). Both cars bone-dry in the video and doesn’t seem like there is much of a sheen on the road, so pretty dry there, too.

    1. Both car and the road are clearly wet in the video.

    2. Snotty cunt is the magna cum laude of the police academy. Surpassed only by meat-headed dick.

  7. “the prosecutor reportedly refused to prosecute the case after watching the body camera footage.”

    Promote this person.

  8. White people justice! At least that’s what many blacks will say after seeing how apologetic the city of Roswell is. The cops were super polite with her. Arresting for speeding was too much. A super speeder fine should have sufficed. Still amazed how even a mild case of police excess seems to get an apology from the city administration when it comes to a white woman victim. She didnt get assaulted or shot by the cops or even verbally abused. Just a harmless joke that the cops didnt even pay attention to the results of.

    1. Fuck you racist.

      1. In all fairness, here’s how Chicago gets outraged about coin flips.

        No sound, so we don’t get to appreciate the full levity of a police officer walking up and trying to grab the wrist of an armed man and then shooting him to death when he flees and/or draws his weapon.

        CPD has been phenomenal with releasing the video. Too bad they can’t say why the cops were there or what the suspect was being arrested for. Also, just slightly odd that we get the edited video of one officer and not full audo/video of the 4-5 (and eventually >80) who were on the scene.

        1. “Police said in a statement that officers on foot tried to question a man “exhibiting characteristics of an armed person” ? in this case a bulge in the man’s waistband they suspected was a weapon. The man pushed the officers away and was shot when he appeared to reach for his weapon as he fled, Waller said.”
          Also “Johnson said Augustus had a valid firearms license but did not have a concealed-carry permit”
          In other words no probable cause except a bulge.

    2. Sorry, but when you carry a gun and force me by threat of caging to get in the back of your car, the last thing I’m going to call you is polite. Just because they were carrying magic badges doesn’t make them any nicer.

  9. Grant said he was “appalled that any law enforcement officer would trivialize the decision-making process of something as important as the arrest of a person.”

    Of course you arrest, unless it’s a fellow member whom you don’t not like.

  10. Literally heads I win tails you lose.

  11. Chick cops should stick to parking enforcement and cavity searches of cis-female arrestees.

  12. What is the angle here? They arrested a person of pallor. That should be applauded.

  13. I’m appalled that ‘speeding in the rain’ is a reckless driving charge. That covers a broad range from light sprinkling to drenching downpour and 5 miles over to 50.

    1. My thoughts too. We should all be appalled at that. Its clearly up to the cops discretion as well. Terrible.

  14. Have you seen a car crash at 75+ MPH? Are you dumb? It’s a fucking weapon of mass destruction. She endangered lives. Going 80 in a 65 is one thing, but she was going 80 in a 45. That’s a recipe for killing someone and putting lives in danger.

    1. That’s what gun control advocates say about guns. They have the POTENTIAL to be dangerous. But laws against “potential” abuse are absurd. It is entirely plausible that driving 80 in a 45 is perfectly safe, especially given that:

      1) speed limits are almost always set by the sheriff’s department (separation of powers anyone?) and are almost always lower than the recommended traveling speed (widely accepted to be the 85th percentile of a speed study);
      2) scientists have proven that speed doesn’t kill, contrary to what the revenue collectors will tell you.

      1. …and most importantly, arrest is not warranted here. Caging the woman does not improve public safety.

    2. Who knows if the 45 speed limit is actually accurate.

      Besides, an arrest here serves nobody.

  15. How about flipping a coin to determine if their administrative leave is paid or not?

  16. You know who else flipped a coin to determine the fate of their victims?

    1. Oops, beat me to it.

  17. At least Two-Face respected the result of the coin toss.

  18. Do the progtards who constantly howl for more laws and gubmint realize that these are the people who will be enforcing them? Of course, the cops would never arrest a soccer mom who has had a few too many glasses of Merlot, unless she has brown skin.

    1. This is why the easiest way to shut up a democrat railing on about gun control is to politely point out that their proposed laws will disproportionately affect black youth, will subjugate them into a system of oppression imposed by being a “criminal” as they seek employment, and will be the impetus for “random” traffic stops. And, as studies have shown, cops are more likely to prosecute a black person on a gun charge than a white person who has also violated the law, and the penalties tend to be harsher. Democrats will not argue with you about that.

      Every single time I’ve pointed that out, my gun control advocate friends have shut their mouths.

      1. Whatever the opposite of “incarnate” is, that’s the word I would use to describe that strategy’s relationship to dr. Yiannopoulos.

  19. The burden of proof really ought to fall on the person advocating the use of force, I would think. And the more information we get, the less it looks like our current system is the least bad option. Maybe it’ll just be technology advancing that wins the argument for us. Almost by definition being in a position of political power means you are the worst option. Or at least the best at doing bad things, and I’m not sure that’s different in any meaningful way.

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