Atlanta, GA – An Atlanta police officer was fired by her department on Monday for allegedly stealing $500 from a murder victim’s wallet (video below).
The incident occurred on June 19, after now-former Atlanta Police Officer Keisha Richburg responded to the scene of a shooting in northwest Atlanta, NBC News reported.
The victim, 29-year-old Jamel Harris, later died at a hospital from a gunshot wound to his head.
While at the scene, an emergency medical technician (EMT) tucked cash back into Harris’ wallet and handed it over to Officer Richburg, who subsequently placed it into her patrol car, bodycam footage showed.
The EMT later told investigators that the money had been handed to him by a bystander, who said the cash was Harris’.
A short while later, Officer Richburg announced that she was going to follow the ambulance to the hospital.
But after she got into the patrol vehicle, the officer’s bodycam briefly captured her moving the victim’s wallet from her right hand to her left hand.
“It is readily apparent the money is no longer tucked inside the wallet,” the Atlanta Police Department said, according to NBC News.
When Officer Richburg arrived at the hospital, she handed the wallet – minus the victim’s cash – to a homicide unit sergeant.
Richburg was fired by Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields on Monday.
"Officer integrity goes to the heart of what we do here every single day," Chief Shields said in a statement, according to NBC News. "It's imperative the public have trust in our word and our actions. It's extremely disappointing to see the victim of a fatal shooting be victimized twice by the actions of one of our officers."
The Atlanta Police Department (APD) said it was unable to determine what Richburg did with the cash, but that it was clear she had “violated the department’s recovered property, truthfulness and appropriate action required rules,” WGAL reported.
“As a result, she was terminated,” the APD said.
International Brotherhood of Police Officers union regional director Vincent Champion said that Richburg is appealing her firing, and that she wants to return to the force.
“She didn’t know the money was in there,” Champion told NBC News on Wednesday.
He said that the bodycam footage is inconclusive, and that it does not prove that Richburg stole anything from the murder victim.
“I don’t think she stole money,” Champion told WSB. “Was it misplaced? Could it have fallen out if something happened? Sure, but I don’t think you’re dealing with a police officer that stole money for their own personal gain.”
"They haven't proven that she had the money or took the money," he reiterated, according to NBC News. "We don't feel the officer did that."
Richburg worked for the APD for two-and-one-half years, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
The findings of APD’s investigation will be forwarded to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office this week, NBC News reported.
You can watch the former officer’s bodycam footage in the video below: