An Alpharetta officer and former Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office deputy has resigned from his position at the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety after being captured on camera earlier this month roughly grabbing and swearing at a 65-year-old woman during a traffic stop on Windward Parkway near Ga. 400.
On the evening of May 4, the woman’s vehicle was stopped after it allegedly drifted into another lane, “nearly causing a collision,” according to a Facebook post by the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety.
The post states that when the vehicle was stopped and its driver was ticketed for the violation by an Alpharetta officer, she refused to sign the ticket or to “obey the officer’s lawful order to step out of the vehicle.”
Dash camera footage of the incident posted online shows the initial stop and the altercation as Officer James Legg arrived at the scene with backup and began to yell at the woman.
“Hey, you aren’t in charge! Shut the [blank] up and get out of the car,” Legg said in the video.
In the video the driver appears to resist the officer’s attempts to remove her from the car.
The video shows Legg allegedly grabbing at the woman’s arm and neck, as the huddle of officers pull her towards the patrol car, all ignoring her screams and yells for a supervisor to be called.
On May 11, Legg formally announced his resignation from the department in a letter to Alpharetta Department of Public Safety Chief John Robison, saying that he felt that he “acted appropriately” and the way he was trained during the incident in May 4.
“Maybe I should not have used profanity, but it’s immediate effectiveness is not questionable and I do believe I acted reasonably under the circumstances,” Legg’s letter states.
“Officer Legg, a decorated military serviceman and police officer, followed his training and arrested an uncompliant driver,” said Legg’s attorney A.J. Richman in a statement to FCN. “He used reasonable force to accomplish that task. The driver held onto the seatbelt and would not comply with law enforcement's commands. Officer Legg stands by the decisions he made that night."
The letter adds that Legg felt like he would not receive a “fair internal investigation” from the department due to the comments Robison made on Facebook following the incident.
In a Facebook post on May 11, Robison stated that an
internal affairs investigation would continue regardless of Legg’s resignation
and that the City of Alpharetta has requested an additional independent
investigation from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation into the incident.
According to Cpl. Doug Rainwater, spokesman for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, Legg was a deputy at the sheriff’s office for six months in 2015.
Rainwater said that Legg left the office in good standing to take a job in the private sector, and his time in Forsyth County he served directly under a field training officer.