Cops Secretly Record Chief Contradicting His Claims Over Why He Fired Officer

Athens-Clarke County Police Department Chief Scott Freeman didn't know he was being recorded.

Athens, GA - Following the firing of Officer Taylor Saulters, the Athens-Clarke County PD chief has had to deal with fallout with officers in his department.

In an attempt to smooth things over, the chief spoke to his officers about why he fired Officer Saulters.

Unfortunately for him, he contradicted his stated reasons for firing the officer, and he was secretly recorded.

WSB-TV reporter Wendy Halloran obtained the recording from the chief's meeting with officers on Wednesday.

On June 2, Officer Saulters was pursuing wanted fugitive Timmy Patmon when the patrol car struck Patmon, causing scrapes and bruises to the fleeing felon.

Officer Saulters' tire had been knocked off of its rim just prior to the impact with Patmon, which occurred as the officer was struggling to control his vehicle. The officer was fired two days later after outrage spread on social media.

In the documents for firing Officer Saulters, the chief noted, "Officer Saulters’ use of the patrol vehicle was a seizure of Patmon through a means intentionally applied and was not objectively reasonable based on the information that he had at the time when evaluated under Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386 (1989)."

This is an explicit accusation that Officer Saulters intentionally assaulted Patmon and violated his Fourth Amendment rights. The word "intentionally" is important, because in order for the force to be excessive, it must have been intentional.

If Officer Saulters unintentionally hit Patmon, then there can be no violation of the law under the circumstances surrounding the incident.

In the recording obtained by Halloran, the chief contradicts his reason for firing the officer.

“Before we get started, um, before we start, I want to get a sense of the feeling that you’re experiencing right now, and I want you to understand, um, that you can’t help how you feel," Chief Freeman said. "You can’t help how you’re thinking right now, regardless of what side of the fence you’re on. And so if you want to share that, um, please feel free to do so at this time."

After silence, the chief continued, "I want you to know, right from the very beginning, I do not think, regardless of what the GBI determines, that he intended to hit him. There's not a fiber in my body that believes that."

Halloran confronted the chief about the recording and asked him if he thought it was a contradiction of his documented reason for firing the officer. Chief Freeman responded that it wasn't a contradiction because his feelings in the matter are subjective, and he stands by his decision 100%.

Officer Saulters' attorney released a statement in response which said, “I'm pleased that when confronted by his own officers Chief Freeman decided to tell the truth. However, this admission raises more questions about his true motive in deciding to fire Officer Saulters before any meaningful investigation had been done. Since it was not intentional then firing him was uncalled for. Whatever the case, it appears he's trying to maintain control of an agency that seems to have lost confidence in its leadership.”

Oglethorpe County Sheriff David Gabriel has already hired Saulters to be a deputy with his department, but the incident is far from over.

Deputy Saulters' wife told Blue Lives Matter that after numerous media outlets falsely reported that the officer intentionally hit Patmon, they've been the target of widespread accusations of racism.

"We are no longer safe or comfortable where we live," Lauren Saulters said.

Deputy Saulters still faces potential criminal charges which could derail his new career with the Oglethorpe County Sheriff's Office and result on prison time.

A GoFundMe page has been established to help the family, which can help with attorney fees.

You can see the video of the incident HERE.

Comments (15)
No. 1-15
RunCop
RunCop

Pussy chief.......pussy!

Marxest
Marxest

Wow! They recorded him! Mmmhhmmm. Well, contradictory statements or not he still has the authority to hire and fire Officers. The admission does not automatically prove wrongdoing and by itself certainly can't be used to jeopardize Chief Freeman's position. He just can't be fired over that, snowflakes. The best thing is for the officers in that department to move on and be mindful that this chief will scrutinize their actions if the public grills him.

Da$
Da$

Poor leadership, he cannot lead and cannot be trusted by his officers after making a ridiculous decision to terminate prior to an effective investigation was completed. Trying to control a vehicle with a tire off a rim is extremely difficult. The suspect is TOTALLY RESPONSIBLE for attempting to escape. Screw anyone who is stupid enough to not understand that, including the chief.

bronx163
bronx163

Chief go fuck yourself and the shit bag libs that handle you. Well folks be reactive not proactive. Your job will burn you and not have your back. Do not put your ass on the line for the job or the people you Police. Let it all implode.

When system crashes like it did in 80s and 90s of NYC. They will recall the sheepdogs to duty and allow cops to be cops. Not some community outreach program.

Public wants a friend buy a dog or meet a firemen.

The police are the line between chaos and stability in society.

ragnarok1943
ragnarok1943

Seems like the officer's tire came off the rim and the Chief went off the rails before the facts were in.

bronx163
bronx163

Politician lap dog. This chief is.

NTPD935Ret
NTPD935Ret

the chief noted, "Officer Saulters’ use of the patrol vehicle was a seizure of Patmon through a means intentionally applied and was not objectively reasonable based on the information that he had at the time when evaluated under Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386 (1989)."

So the Chief openly admits his agency violated the Constitutional rights of the suspect. Easy lawsuit for the Plaintiff. The Chief just created another thug millionaire at the taxpayers expense.

What a spineless political hack this worthless Chief is. I hope his agency understands that he will not back them and can not be trusted.

bronx163
bronx163

These polical lapdog chiefs commissioners are only destroying stability and unit cohesion by siding with lib shitbags and black lives matter to keep their Power and positions. They have sold their souls to be in charge.

Cstuartsr
Cstuartsr

This Chief is ruining the lives and career of his officers because he is letting certain groups of people make the decision on what happened. It’s ashamed that this is occurring across our country at the expense of the men and women in Law Enforcement.

John.Brown
John.Brown

Well he is either lying to the public or lying to his officers. Either way he is a liar and should be removed. He has lost the confidence of his officers or of the public or both. The loss of confidence will hurt the community one way or the other, not to mention the increased danger to his officers.

Deputydog1
Deputydog1

Another case of Guilty until proven innocent. That is the way PD Chiefs seem to handle complaints against it’s Officers. Far too often anyway! Since the Chief is basically a political Appointment by the Mayor and the Mayor has to appease the voters, right or wrong. The Officer becomes expendable!

LordSeamus
LordSeamus

Fire his ass and find someone with proper training and experience to take his place !

TarnishedCopper
TarnishedCopper

He is typical chief material.. "throwing his officers under the bus " to save his own hide. No spine of his own. He is owned by someone.

Memaw187
Memaw187

Bowing to the hordes with their torches and pitchforks. So sad the officer had to be sacrificed on the alter of C.Y.A.

bronx163
bronx163

If these cops have the balls they will just patrol reactive to send a message who keeps the wolf away from the flock. Stop all proactive patrols. Take a report pick up your next job.