Two police officers in Roswell, Georgia have been placed on administrative leave following a bodycam video showing them using a coin toss app to determine whether to arrest a woman caught speeding.
The video, made public through an investigation by NBC affiliate WXIA-TV, shows the police officers Courtney Brown and Kristee Wilson debating how to respond to Sarah Webb, whom they had just pulled over for driving at least 80 miles an hour. When Brown asked Wilson whether they should just issue tickets, she replied, “Atlanta answer or Roswell answer?”
Brown then opens a coin toss app on her phone and inputs “A” for arrest or “R” for release. The app performs a digital coin flip, complete with sound effects. It lands on R, suggesting that Webb should be released, but the officers proceed to arrest her anyway.
Webb did not know about that a coin toss was used as part of the process to determine her fate until the WXIA reporters reached out. “Wow, these people put my freedom in the hands of a coin flip,” she said. “And that’s disgusting.”
Charges against her were subsequently dismissed. According to Webb’s account, the prosecutor “absolutely refused” to prosecute the case.
Roswell Police Department Chief Rusty Grant said in a statement that an internal investigation is underway. “This behavior is not indicative of the hard-working officers of the Roswell Police Department,” he said.
“I have 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.”