A police officer has been fired after body-cam footage showed him hitting a suspect with his patrol car. The man was running from the police and the officer clipped him. The incident, which was witnessed by others, didn’t go as planned for the officer. His rash decision making left him in the unenviable position of having to defend his actions.
“Taylor Saulters [left] was fired from the Athens-Clarke County Police Department on Saturday less than 24 hours after an investigation was launched,” The Daily Mail writes. The Georgia police department wasted no time disciplining Saulters.
The investigation began after a witness posted a video to Facebook, but Saulters’ own camera also caught the incident.
Saulters rammed Timmy Patmon. Patmon was avoiding arrest on a felony probation warrant.
The video shows Patmon running. Saulters then chases after him, briefly, before clipping him with the car.
Witnesses describe the act as intentional.
Saulters and his partner, Hunter Blackmon, then cuff Patmon. “You just hit that man,” a woman screams. “Oh my god!”
“You didn’t have to hit that man like that,” she says.
“Give us your hands now, or you’re gonna get Tased,” Saulters said to Patmon. “Do you understand me? Make the right decision.”
Saulters’ understanding of what happened differs from what witnesses describe, and from what the department must have seen on the video.
“I didn’t hit him with the car,” he said on the video. “I blocked him with the car.”
“He ran into the hood of my car and bounced off.”
He also claims that he attempted to stop, but couldn’t becasue of a flat tire.
The video below has more of the immediate reaction after the incident.
“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,” the Athens-Clarke County Police Department wrote in a statement.
Patmon, after being hit, was taken to the hospital. He wasn’t there long, as there was nothing seriously wrong with him as a result of being hit with the car. He was then arrested and taken to jail.