A Georgia cop was fired last week for harassing and intimidating a 17-year-old who hollered “fuck the police” at him from a moving car in an incident captured on both body and dash cameras.
This isn’t the first time Social Circle police officer James Eugene Sander has been disciplined
In 2014, he received an oral reprimand for threatening to blow up a high school as well as send anthrax to school staff after they expressed dissatisfaction with the level of security he provided at a football game,” according to the Walton Tribune.
On Thursday, after receiving an anonymous tip about the cop pulling over a vehicle and “cussing at all the occupants” inside, then viewing video footage from the November 23 incident, Social Circle Police Chief Tyrone Oliver decided he’d seen enough of Sander’s antics and pulled the trigger to fire him.
After receiving the tip, Chief Oliver requested Sgt. Samantha Rose get a statement from Sanders about the stop, but footage from Sanders’ body cam indicated several discrepancies in his version of events.
Video from the stop shows Sanders pulling over the jeep then proceeding to ask each of the teens separately who made the comment.
The driver of the vehicle said it was his friend that made the remark.
Sanders then hones in on the kid and walks over to him.
“Get out of the vehicle. What’d you have to say?” asks Sanders.
The boy complies with Sanders’ request.
“Tell me one more time or you’re going to jail, son,” says Sanders before asking the boy’s name.
The kid quietly replies, apparently familiar with the Sanders from a previous incident.
“Brandon Hughes!” Sanders excitedly recalls. “I know who you are!”
“Is there something you need to say to us that you need to yell out the window? Who are you yelling at? Look at me when you’re talking, son. Who are you yelling at? What’d you say?”
“I said fuck the police.”
“F the police” Sanders echos with a drawl.
“You’re sorry . . . get your hands out of your pocket. Why you want to say that to the police?”
“I know y’all protect and serve.”
“Nah, I’m aint protecting you!” exclaims officer Sanders as the boy hangs his head.
“You wanna fuck the police? Well, here I am. Right here, brother.”
“Why not? You’re a tough guy. C’mon. You seemed like a little baby that day you was in court. Remember?”
“I’m giving you every opportunity….”
“I’m sorry,” replies the teen, obviously in fear at this point.
“Then why do you want to yell it in front of your buddies? Are you trying to be a bad ass?”
“I’m giving you every opportunity to fuck me up. You understand?”
The boy remains silent, hanging his head.
“Now let me ask you this? What have I ever done to you?”
“Not a damn thing.”
“What has my partner ever done to you?”
The kid shakes his head.
“Not a damn thing. Right?”
“So, why . . . do you want to fuck the police?”
“Just being stupid.”
“I didn’t know y’all could be so God damn stupid anymore. Everybody get out of the jeep,” Sanders says. ” You want to see how big of an asshole police is gonna be? I’m fixing to show you. I’m fixing to show every damn one of you and every damn ounce of this jeep. Now so help me God if I find one damn seed . . . every damn one of you is gonna go to jail because fuck the police, son.”
Sanders has seven days to respond to Social Circle City Manager Adele Schirmer about appealing the firing.
Although Sanders’ comments about blowing up the school were enough for the principal to file a complain with the department, Oliver said Sanders’ history didn’t play a part in his decision to fire him.
“It was still concerning enough for the principal to file a complaint with the police chief then,” Oliver said in an interview with the Huffington Post. “Even if it’s playing, or not, you don’t do anything like that.”
The chief said to be a police officer, a person should have “tough skin and let things roll off their back.”
“We hold our officers to a higher standard and this type of behavior will not be tolerated here.”
Included below is dash cam video from the stop as well as exclusive footage from Sanders’ body cam, which was obtained by PINAC Investigator Felipe Hemming from Chief Oliver.