- Roswell Police Department
- Two police officers were put on administrative leave for using a coin flip app to decide whether to arrest a driver they pulled over.
- The driver didn’t know about the coin toss until 11Alive investigators sent her body camera footage from the scene.
- The driver said the prosecuting attorney dismissed the case against her.
Two police officers were put on administrative leave and a prosecutor dropped charges against a driver after it emerged that the cops used a coin toss app before they decided to make an arrest.
The motorist, Sarah Webb, was driving to work on April 7 when she was pulled over by police officers in Roswell, Georgia. In the body camera footage first released by the Atlanta news station 11Alive, one officer said that she had to drive at 90 mph to catch the speeding Webb, who was running late to her shift at a hair salon.
Officer Courtney Brown pulled Webb over and said “the ground’s wet, it’s been raining, you’re going over 80 miles an hour on this type of a road. That’s reckless driving.”
Back in the police vehicle, Officer Brown began discussing the situation with Officer Kristee Wilson. Wilson can be heard in the video saying “A, head. R, tail,” referring to a coin toss app where a head would be cause for arrest and a tail would lead to a release.
The video catches the sound of the digital coin flip from Wilson’s cell phone. “This is tail, right?” Wilson asked.
“Yeah, so release.” Officer Brown replied.
“23,” Wilson responded, referring to a police code for arrest.
The video then showed Officer Brown returning to Webb’s vehicle, handcuffing Webb, and putting her in the backseat of the police car. Webb was charged with speeding and reckless driving.
Webb did not know about the video or the situation behind the coin toss until she was contacted by 11Alive. Ahead of her July 9 court appearance, Webb filed a motion of discovery to watch the video. Webb told 11Alive that the prosecutor threw out the case, refusing to press charges once she saw the video.
“Wow, these people put my freedom in the hands of a coin flip,” Webb added. “And that’s disgusting.”
Roswell’s police chief Rusty Grant released a statement on Friday announcing that both officers were placed on administrative leave and the internal investigation was still ongoing.
Grant said that 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.”
11Alive said Grant didn’t place the officers on leave until their investigative team began asking questions about the incident.