Georgia police officer suspended after manhandling grandmother during traffic stop

Georgia police officer suspended after manhandling grandmother during traffic stop

Kerry Wise
May 12, 2018

A police officer has been suspended and an investigation opened by a metro Atlanta police department following a recent arrest.

Rose Campbell, a 65-year-old grandmother, was pulled over for not maintaining her lane while making a turn.

"The officers were still not able to complete the arrest of Ms. Campbell as she was still in the vehicle and holding on to the seatbelt", Legg said.

After watching dash camera video of the incident, the Alpharetta Safety Chief took disciplinary action against Legg.

As Swerdlove and another officer grappled with Campbell, she said that if Swerdlove took his hands off of her, she would get out.

"All I felt was his whole body over me and I could feel the weight over me, grabbing at my belt", she said. Officer James Legg's resignation letter reads.

She was then told she was under arrest, but refused to comply with the officer, which is when the officer tried to remove her.

It's just not who we are.

Legg also said may be he shouldn't have used profanity, but "it's immediate effectiveness is not questionable" because he "ended a volatile situation quickly with very limited force and got everyone off the highway and back into service". "I remind you that I did not make the traffic stop, did not begin the use of force, did respond with emergency equipment, did properly analyze the situation, did render the vehicle safe, did get the suspects attention and out of the auto, did effectively get her detached from the seatbelt and did get her handcuffed with limited force". In his letter, Legg said he stepped in because other officers were unable to complete the arrest and his language got the woman out of the vehicle.

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The video shows Campbell screaming loudly as Legg continued to manhandle her.

But at this point Legg begins shouting curses at Campbell.

That officer reached into the vehicle to open the door and repeatedly told her to step out of the auto. Again, this officer's behavior does not reflect who we are as an organization and, because of this, we have initiated an Internal Affairs investigation.

"I felt violated", Campbell said during an interview with ABC's WSBT. The officer who stopped her, Michael Swerdlove, relayed that request.

The official did not name Legg in the post, but said the officer "interjected himself into the situation using language and tactics that were inappropriate, even inflammatory". "I didn't expect that in America".

"I'm a Christian woman, and we're supposed to offer forgiveness to walk on the path to peace", Campbell said. "We're not going to try to hurt you, step out of the auto", Campbell is told at one point.

Campbell, who is diabetic, was also concerned about her health during the incident. I will justify my actions when given the opportunity to do so through a POST investigation, but will not subject myself to the investigation of an agency Chief who would rather care about public perception and political correctness over officer, suspect and the general public's safety. Am I in a movie?

Legg has resigned, the department announced on Friday, adding that Georgia Bureau of Investigation will now be conducting its own investigation. I couldn't believe it. I didn't expect that especially in Alpharetta. "I think everyone has a space for redemption".