Officer appeals firing after profanity-laced traffic stop with teen
SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. - A former Social Circle police officer said he will appeal being fired after video of a shocking traffic stop with a teenager.
Social Circle Police Chief Tyrone Oliver said, along with threatening and cursing out a 17-year-old boy during a traffic stop on November 23, former Officer James Sanders violated policies. Oliver decided to fire Sanders, an 8-year-veteran on the force, Thursday.
Oliver said an anonymous woman called asking him to investigate, after she said, Sanders pulled over a car and "cussed out" teenagers. The Chief reviewed body camera and dash cam video from the incident.
He said it showed Sanders at a traffic stop with another officer when a black Jeep rode by. Sanders heard one of the four passengers in the Jeep yell, "F---- the Police." At that point, he followed the car and pulled it over on North Cherokee Road, according to Oliver.
In the footage, Sanders can be seen yelling at the occupants. He also singled out the teenager who admitted to yelling the profanity-laced remark. Oliver said Sanders also urged the teenager to fight him.
"The teen kept saying, 'No, I don't want to do it.' And he's like, 'No, you're a tough guy...,'" Oliver said.
Oliver told FOX 5's Marissa Mitchell the video also shows Sanders threatening to search the Jeep and its passengers to see if they had marijuana.
"He did state that he pulled them over for failure to maintain lane. When you look at the video, the vehicle did hit the white line but it was after he was coming up on them with a high rate of speed," Oliver insisted.
Oliver added Sanders has three other disciplinary actions on his record, including a written reprimand in 2014 for allegedly threatening staff at a high school while on duty. Oliver said school officials weren't happy with
security Sanders provided and wanted to talk with him before paying him. In turn, Sanders threatened to mail anthrax to the school and "blow up" the building, according to the police chief. Oliver also said Sanders received an oral warning in 2013 for refusing to transport money from municipal court to the city hall and he was given a written warning for failing to turn in activity sheets in January 2016.
"In this profession, we have to have tough skin. People say stuff to us all the time and you got to let it roll off your back and do your job and do it right," Oliver said.
Sanders filed a formal petition to appeal his firing on Monday with the City Council.