Officer resigns after video shows him cursing at grandmother during traffic stop
Officers drag grandmother from car after she questioned traffic ticket
ALPHARETTA, Ga. – Dash cam video showed Alpharetta City Police Department officer James Legg shouting, "Hey! You are not in charge! Shut up and get the [expletive] out of the car!"
Legg was shouting at Rose Campbell, a 65-year-old grandmother who didn't want to sign a traffic ticket for allegedly failing to maintain her lane May 4. When she refused to sign, another officer called for backup. Legg was one of the responding officers, who helped to pull her out of the car.
"I felt violated," Campbell said during an interview with ABC's WSBT. "I felt not only that my space had been violated, but that he was not respecting me."
Legg was suspended pending the department's internal affairs investigation, but decided to resign on Friday saying that he felt he had acted appropriately and reasonably.
In his resignation letter, he said that after retiring from the military, he served in law enforcement in Florida before moving to Georgia.
He wrote he was concerned about Campbell's ability to use her vehicle as a weapon and run over or drag the "numerous police officers" who responded to the call for back up.
"The officers were still not able to complete the arrest of Ms. Campbell as she was still in the vehicle and holding onto the seat belt," Legg said. "I did what was necessary to complete the arrest by raising my voice and using verbal commands using heavy control talk with profanity. It worked instantly."
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."
Legg's resignation comes a day after Alpharetta City Chief John Robinson responded to the reaction to the video by saying he had "some major concerns" and the interaction that officers had with Campbell "simply did not represent who we are as an organization."
Legg said that after hearing Robinson's response saying his actions were unworthy, unreasonable and in violation of policy, he believed he was not going to get a fair ruling, so he decided to resign.
"I will justify my actions when given the opportunity to do so through a [Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council] POST investigation," Legg wrote. "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."