Days after he was fired from the Athens-Clarke County Police Department for striking a fleeing suspect with his patrol car, former Officer Taylor Saulters has a new title: deputy.
Oglethorpe County Sheriff David Gabriel announced on Facebook that he had hired Saulters, whom he said he'd known "since he was a baby," and that he would be a "great asset" to the county. Oglethorpe County is one county east of Clarke County.
"In talking to Saulters the first question he asked was if our citizens supported law enforcement. Without hesitation I assured him they did and that we have excellent people that live in our county. I have no reservations about Dep. Saulters serving this community. As a citizen of Oglethorpe County you will find the wisdom of this decision in getting a deputy of this caliber," Gabriel wrote, adding that he was available to answer questions from county residents.
"If you are not an Oglethorpe County resident," he wrote, "I wouldn’t worry about it."
Gabriel was fired after an internal investigation concluded he violated department policies while attempting to apprehend a fleeing suspect.
While Blackmon chased Patmon on foot, the
Instead of hitting Patmon, the patrol car struck the curb, causing a flat tire, and a stop sign, according to cbs.46.com.
Undeterred, Saulters maneuvered the vehicle back on to the road and toward Patmon. Saulters swerved the car toward the 23-year-old suspect again, this time hitting him from behind.
The video shows that the impact of the collision caused Patmon to roll up the hood of the car and bounce off the windshield before falling to the pavement.
Blackmon soon caught up, and as he was restraining Patmon, who had his face on the road, Saulters threatened to use a stun gun on the suspect who was resisting attempts to be put in handcuffs, abcnews.go.com reported.
"Give us your hands now, or you're gonna get Tased," Saulters said on the bodycam footage, while a crowd of bystanders could be heard voicing displeasure in the background.
“I got him with my car, that’s what they’re yelling about,” Saulters said to another officer arriving on the scene.
Police say Patmon had scrapes and bruises and was taken to the hospital before being cleared to go to jail.
"Athens police Chief Scott Freeman initially placed Saulters on administrative leave, initiated an internal affairs investigation, and requested that the Georgia State Patrol and Georgia Bureau of Investigation conduct independent investigations of 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,"
“We work every day to build a rapport and relationships with the community so that when situations like this occur they know we will act in good faith,” Eppi Rodriguez, a police spokesperson, told The New York Times. “We’ll continue to be transparent and answer questions.”
Saulter's lawyer Philip Holloway told WSB his client had received "multiple" job offers after he was terminated over the weekend before deciding to take the job in Oglethorpe County.
“This is a testament to the fact that seasoned veteran law enforcement officials recognize the lawfulness of my client’s actions and the injustice of his termination," he told the station. "Under the totality of the circumstances Officer Salters’ actions were objectively reasonable."
This article was written by cool news network.