Police Officer Fired After Video Shows Him Run Over Suspect
A Georgia police officer has been fired after video footage showed that he ran over a fleeing suspect with his police cruiser.
Officer Taylor Saulters and Officer Hunter Blackmon were patrolling Athens-Clarke County on Friday when Officer Blackmon noticed a man, Timmy Patmon, who he knew had a warrant out for his arrest, according to a statement issued Athens-Clarke County Police Department on Facebook.
“As the officers confirmed the validity of the warrant and attempted to make contact with Patmon, he fled on foot. Blackmon pursued Patmon on foot, and Saulters attempted to get ahead of Patmon with his patrol car,” the department wrote, explaining the incident.
“During the course of the foot chase, Saulters attempted to block Patmon’s path of escape on two occasions with his patrol car. During Saulter’s first attempt to block Patmon, Saulters struck a curb and flattened his driver’s side front tire.,” it said.
“On Saulter’s second attempt to block Patmon’s path with his patrol car, and during the maneuvering of the patrol car Patmon impacted the right front quarter panel of Saulters’ car as Saulters was attempting to accelerate past Patmon,” it wrote.
Officers called for an ambulance to tend to Patmon, who suffered only scrapes and bruises from the impact.
After he was taken care of at a local hospital he was turned over to the authorities who booked him in the Clarke County jail.
Though it appears that the officer accidentally hit Patmon, the department decided to fire Officer Saulters.
“Athens police Chief Scott Freeman initially placed Saulters on administrative leave, initiated an internal affairs investigation, and requested that the Georgia State Patrol and Georgia Bureau of Investigation conduct independent investigations of the incident,” the department wrote.
“After reviewing the officers’ body camera footage, and all the other facts and circumstances of this case, Chief Scott Freeman terminated the employment of Officer Taylor Saulters,” it said.