Cobb Co. officer already had complaints against him | News
MABLETON, GA (WXIA) – Cobb County Police Officer Maurice Lawson, has not been on the force very long, but he has already received a reprimand. Lawson is the subject of a complaint received after a controversial traffic stop in Mableton last month.
Motorist Brian Baker filed a complaint against Lawson over the officer’s treatment of him during a traffic stop on Mableton Parkway. Lawson admitted he lost his composure during the traffic stop with Baker.
What happened was partially captured in body camera video from a second officer, A.J. Grizanti. He arrived on the scene after Lawson’s first exchange with Baker – one which Lawson told him did not go well.
“The first thing out of his mouth was – I was like ‘how are you doing tonight, sir’,” Lawson said. “And he was like ‘Sober – what did you stop me for!’ He yelled at me and I yelled back.”
Grizanti replied, “I’ll go talk to him.”
Grizanti approached Baker.
“Good evening Mr. Baker,” Grizanti said.
“Why are you bothering me? I didn’t do anything wrong. Can I have my tickets so I can go?” Baker replied.
Baker complained that Lawson asked him inappropriate questions.
“He asked me where I am coming from – it’s none of your business where I’m coming from. Where I’m going is none of your business, either,” Baker said. “Are you the Gestapo or something? You asked the question, I answered, and you’re still going on, man!”
Eventually Lawson issued the citations before the controversial remark was caught on tape.
“I don’t care about your people,” Lawson said.
Lawson concluded the exchange with Baker by telling him to “Go back to Fulton County.”
In addition to the internal affairs complaint, the Cobb County Attorney is looking at whether Lawson’s supervisors violated policy by dismissing the tickets Baker received for speeding and failure to maintain lane.
On Monday, Lawson will find out what discipline he will face, if any, in relation to his actions related to last month’s traffic stop of Baker.
The police department has since apologized to Baker.
Lawson’s internal affairs file indicates two other complaints – one from 4th District Cobb County Commissioner Lisa Cupid, who said he followed her in an unmarked car, and that she suspected racial profiling.
In that case, the department found he had not violated any rules.
But in one other complaint – from last March -- Lawson received a formal letter of reprimand. In that case, his superiors found he had conducted an inappropriate vehicle pursuit at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour while trying to apprehend a driver with a suspended license.
For officers in Cobb County, pursuits are only permitted if the person is suspected of a serious crime, like rape, murder or manslaughter.
Officer Lawson has been a police officer for only about 18 months.
11Alive News reached out to Lawson to get his side of the story on Friday, but thus far has not heard back from him.