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Georgia police department fires officers who used coin flip to decide arrest

ROSWELL, Ga. — Two Georgia officers have been terminated after they were seen on video using a coin-flip app to determine whether a speeding driver would be arrested, reports CBS affiliate WGCL-TV. The video of the April traffic stop in Roswell was obtained by WXIA-TV.  

The footage shows Roswell police Officer Courtney Brown asking driver Sarah Webb whether she knew how fast she was going. Webb apologizes, saying she was late for work.

Brown then returns to her squad car to consult with fellow officers about whether to arrest Sarah Webb or just give her a ticket.

"What do you think?" one of the officers asks.

Brown says she didn't record the speed at which Webb had been driving. She then can be heard saying, "Hold on," as she opens a coin-flip app on her phone. Officer Kristee Wilson suggests that heads should mean arrest and tails should mean release. Brown agrees and flips the coin in the app.

"This is tails, right?" Wilson asks.

"Yeah, so release?" Brown responds.

But then Wilson suggests a police code for arrest, and the two can be heard laughing.

The officers decided to charge Webb with going too fast for conditions and reckless driving. Brown then arrests Webb, handcuffing her and putting her in the back of a patrol car.

The officers were placed on administrative leave after the incident and Roswell police chief Rusty Grant said he had launched an internal investigation. The firing of the two officers was announced Friday, WGCL reports.

"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," Grant said in a statement after the incident.

The prosecutor in charge of the case later decided not to press charges on the grounds that the officers' coin toss was unprofessional, the station reports.

Webb said she didn't know that her fate had relied on a coin toss until the television station contacted her weeks later, CBS Los Angeles reported.

"They're very degrading and rude and mean," Webb told Inside Edition.

"Wow, these people put my freedom in the hands of a coin flip," she said. "And that's disgusting."

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