Breaking News Emails
A Georgia police officer has resigned following the arrest of a woman whose routine traffic stop escalated into a heated confrontation.
James H. Legg resigned from the Alpharetta Police Department on Friday night over the arrest of Rose Campbell, 65. She was stopped on May 4 after an officer observed her swerve into a neighboring lane.
Dashcam video released by officials after the incident appears to show Legg cursing at Campbell and yanking her arm before cuffing her and pulling her.
After review of the video, Alpharetta Department of Public Safety Chief John Robison said he had "major concerns" about how Legg conducted himself, according to NBC News affiliate WXIA. The officer "did not perform in a manner that is reflective of who we are as an organization," Robison said in a video posted to Facebook.
In a resignation letter submitted Friday evening, Legg said he "did what was necessary to complete the arrest by raising my voice and using verbal commands using heavy control talk with profanity."
"I do not feel I will get a fair internal affairs investigation from you due to the comments you made on Facebook prior to interviewing any of the other officers, or even me," he wrote in the letter addressed to Robison. "I feel my decisions ended a volatile situation quickly with very limited force and got everyone off the highway and back into service."
In footage of the stop, the situation appears calm until the first officer asks Campbell to sign a citation for "failure to maintain lane."
Campbell refuses and the officer tells her that if she doesn't sign the paperwork, he'll have to arrest her. She asks for a supervisor and the officer agrees and requests a supervisor come to the scene.
It then appears that while the officer is standing between Campbell's car and the open car door, she attempts to shut the door, which prompts the officer to push the door back open and demand the grandmother "get out of the car."
They are then shown arguing over Campbell's tinted windows as the officer tells her he fears for his safety seeing a person in the back seat behind the tinted windows. The woman in the back seat eventually leaves the vehicle as the situation continues to escalate.
The officer then appears to reach into the vehicle to pull Campbell out and she yells, "You are in violation of my rights!"
Campbell continues to plead with the officer to wait until his supervisor arrives, and as she does, more officers begin arriving at the scene. Soon a second officer appears and tries to help the first get Campbell out of the car.
Legg is the third officer seen arriving at the scene. He initially walks over to the passenger-side door, but then comes around to the driver's side where the officers are struggling with Campbell. He shouts, "You are not in charge! Shut the f--- up and get out of the car!"
Legg can be seen grabbing Campbell's arm and forcefully pulling it behind her back as she wails. Once Campbell is cuffed, Legg is seen aggressively pulling her forward before she is led to the police car.
"Ms. Campbell was complying with our officers, she was stepping out of the vehicle, there was really no reason for officer Legg to interject himself verbally or physically," said Alpharetta Department of Public Safety public information officer Howard Miller.