Bill Handel

Bill Handel

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Georgia Officers Fired After Coin Toss Decides Arrest

Two officers in Georgia have been fired for violating department policy after they used a coin toss to decide whether or not to arrest a suspect for speeding.

Here's what happened:

Officers Courtney Brown and Kristee Wilson pulled over Sarah Webb in April for speeding.  Webb told the officers that she was late for work.

Both officers returned to their vehicle to run Webb's background.

On their body cam video, you hear the officers discussing what to do next.

Officer Brown says she doesn't have speed detection equipment and Officer Wilson said they can base Webb's speed on the fact that they had to go over 90 miles an hour to catch up with her. Officer Wilson also states that Webb has no record of tickets. 

Then they discussed whether or not to arrest her for the violation.   According to WXIA:

"The officers used the terms 'A' or 'arrest' for heads and or 'R' for release or tails.  Officer Wilson is heard saying "This is tail, right?"  Officer Brown says, 'Yeah. So release?"  Then Wilson says "23" which is police code for arrest."

Webb was subsequently arrested on charges of: 

  • speeding
  • reckless driving
  • driving too fast for conditions

She had NO idea that officers decided to arrest her by using a coin toss until WXIA contacted her about it. 

On July 9th, charges against Webb were dismissed by prosecutors.

In a statement about the firing, Roswell Police Chief Rusty Grant said both officers had violated department policy by 'failing to perform at an acceptable level':

"This isn't a police procedure, to bring a coin flip - whether it's an app or an actual coin toss- that's not part of that decision making to decide to take someone's freedom."

He said the officers: 

"Engaged in conduct on or off duty which adversely affects the efficiency of the department and had a tendency to destroy public respect for the employee or the department."

Webb told NBC News in an interview:

"These are people who are supposed to protect us, and instead are treating our freedom and our lives like games.  It's disgusting. It's scary to think police officers do stuff like this."

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