The One Story: HBCUs And The Gatekeeping Of Black Culture
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UPDATED: 2:13 p.m. EDT — The Georgia police officer accused of brutality against an elderly Black woman driver has quit after he was suspended, according to a new report. Alpharetta Police Officer James Legg was under investigation over the May 4 traffic stop that ended with him forcefully removing the 65-year-old grandmother from her SUV after she asked to speak with a supervisor, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported Friday afternoon.

Original story:


The offense of “driving while Black” recently took a turn for the worse when a 65-year-old grandmother accused of “failure to maintain lane” became the victim of police brutality during what should have been a routine traffic stop in Georgia.

Rose Campbell, who disagreed with the reason why she was pulled over on May 4, wouldn’t open her car door to sign the ticket she was issued because she said it would incriminate her for doing something she was innocent of. When she was ordered to get out of her car, she also refused.

That’s when Alpharetta Police Officer James Legg decided to take matters in his own hands, literally, by opening the door and forcefully trying to remove her from her SUV.

“All I felt was his whole body over me and I could feel the weight over me, grabbing at my belt,” Cambpell told local WSB-TV reporter Mike Petchenik.

When she again refused to get out, Legg told her she was being arrested for disorderly conduct and called for backup — for an elderly woman who was not being combative.

Eerily reminiscent of Sandra Bland‘s arrest, the entire episode was captured on dash cam video, which showed Legg yelling curses in the face of Cambpell, who, at that point, was screaming out of apparent fear for her life.

“Hey, you’re not in charge,” Legg yelled in response to Campbell’s demand to see a supervisor. “Shut the f–k up and get out of the car!”

There were at least three officers manhandling Campbell and trying to subdue the woman, who, again, is a 65-year-old grandmother.

“Am I in a movie?  Is this a movie? I couldn’t believe it. It was surreal. I didn’t expect that in America,” Cambpell said. “I was scared. I felt like I was ganged up on.”

Legg has since been suspended for his actions, which “do not represent who we are as an organization,” Alpharetta Police Chief John Robison said in video posted to Facebook video on Thursday.

Campbell’s violent encounter with police came on the heels of multiple recent instances of racial profiling that have led to questionable confrontations of Black people for doing what non-Black people typically don’t get bothered for doing.

Those “offenses” include – but certainly are not limited to – sitting in Starbucks without buying anything while waiting for an acquaintance; asking for plastic utensils at a Waffle House; a student napping in a common area in a building on a college campus; and just being in a shopping center parking lot.

Now, sadly, we can add driving while elderly to the growing list of things police don’t like Black people doing.


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