Georgia police officer fired after fleeing suspect hit by patrol car

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The Athens-Clarke County Police Department has fired Officer Taylor Saulters after he was seen on body camera footage hitting suspect Timothy Patmon with his patrol car. (Athens-Clarke County Police Department)

A Georgia police department fired an officer seen on body camera footage hitting a fleeing suspect with his patrol car.

In a news release, the Athens-Clarke County Police Department said Officer Taylor Saulters and another officer were pursuing Timothy Patmon, who was wanted for probation violation, on the evening of June 1.

Patmon fled on foot, and Saulters gave chase in his patrol car while the other officer chased Patmon on foot. Saulters attempted twice to block Patmon with his patrol car. On his second attempt, Patmon "impacted the right front quarter panel of Saulters' car as Saulters was attempting to accelerate past Patmon," according to the department.

Warning: Body camera footage contains profanity.

Body camera footage of the incident shows Saulters hitting Patmon with the front of his car. Patmon then fell to the ground, and a crowd of witnesses gathered around the scene.

"Man, you hit me with your car!" Patmon told Saulters, who asked if he was injured.

"I know what I did. Why'd you run?" Saulters countered.

Later in the 13-minute clip, Saulters told other officers that he "didn't hit [Patmon] with the car, I blocked him with the car."

Patmon, who requested medical treatment, suffered scrapes and bruises and was later booked into Clarke County jail for violating his probation and obstructing a law enforcement officer.

Saulters was initially placed on administrative leave and later fired after an internal affairs investigation. The Georgia State Patrol and Georgia Bureau of Investigation have also been asked to conduct independent investigations of the incident.



"This was not the kind of conduct we would expect from an Athens-Clarke County police officer," Athens-Clarke police spokesman Epifanio Rodriguez told the Athens Banner-Herald.
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