A cops’ coin flip sent a woman to jail. Now the Roswell, GA officers are suspended after bodycam video shows them giggling and using a coin-toss app to decide whether or not to arrest Sarah Webb, who admits she was speeding.
A local news media investigative team uncovered the video and showed it to Webb who said she had “no idea” that was the method law enforcement used in deciding whether or not she’d be released or go to jail.
Webb was pulled over in April for driving nearly twice the limit; she was doing 80 on a rain-slicked roadway posted at 45 MPH, the report said. Roswell Police officers Courtney Brown and Kristee Wilson giggled when they decided that a coin toss would determine Webb’s fate; a ticket and release or an arrest on charges of reckless driving, WXIA reported.
In the video, officer Brown says she doesn’t have the equipment to detect Webb’s speed and estimated it was over 80 MPH. And she says she doesn’t have any tickets. They decide to toss a coin and used the terms “A” or arrest for heads, and “R” for release for tails, on the video: Officer Wilson says, “A (arrest) head, R (release) tail,” and then Brown says “Okay” while giggling.
The coin app, which can be spinning and dropping, lands tails.
ON audio Wilson can be heard saying, “This is tail right?” Brown says, “Yeah. So release?” Then Wilson says “23,” or a police code for arrest, WXIA reported. It’s tails but they decide to arrest her anyway.
During the arrest, Webb, a hair stylist on her way to work, can be seen asking why she’s being arrested on a speeding charge, trying to explain herself and then, sobbing inside the police cruiser while handcuffed.
Months after the incident, charges against Webb were recently dropped when news media brought the bodycam video to light. And then, Friday, Roswell Police Chief Rusty Grant posted a statement to Facebook wherein he says “After I became aware that this incident occurred, I immediately initiated an internal investigation into the matter. I then placed both officers on administrative leave.”
The reporters who uncovered the evidence of the officers’ decision-making process said one of the officers was still on duty this week but was subsequently let go. Grant told NBC News, “We didn’t initially put them on administrative leave — which is not unusual. We gather some information, we look at all the facts that we have, and at some point during an investigation, we may make a decision — because of the seriousness — that we need to put somebody on administrative leave.”
“Since this is an open internal investigation, I cannot discuss the details of the incident until the conclusion of the investigation<' Chief Grant wrote.
Saying this is not the norm for his officers, Grant said he has "much higher expectations of our police officers and I am appalled that any law enforcement officer would trivialize the decision-making process of something as important as the arrest of a person.
The officers are being dubbed #CoinFlipCops.