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Alpharetta police officer resigns after controversial traffic stop of 'Mama Campbell'

The resignation comes after the department launched an investigation and suspended him.

ALPHARETTA, Ga -- One of the officers involved in a controversial traffic stop in Alpharetta that involved the arrest of an elderly woman has resigned.

Attorneys representing James Legg confirmed Friday morning that he had been suspended and subsequently resigned.

Legg's resignation comes after the department launched an internal investigation after posting a 17-minute video in which Rose Campbell, 65, was pulled over on May 4. The escalated from a run-of-the-mill traffic stop to an incident that ended with six officers trying to restrain Campbell. Police held a news conference Friday morning in which the department expressed regret over the incident.

"One of the officers who responded requested backup, and Officer Legg, when he arrived on the scene, engaged in the incident and apparently lost his cool and his temper, and acted inappropriately with his words and his actions," said Officer Howard Miller, department spokesperson.

"We'd like our community to know this is not typical behavior of our officers," Miller said. "We work very hard to develop trust and transparency."

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According to the incident report, Campbell repeatedly refused to sign her citation, though Miller said she was required to under Georgia law. Signing the ticket is not an admission of guilt, according to Alpharetta police, but only serves as a signature bond.

READ | If police pull you over, what are your rights during a traffic stop?

The department also said it is typical for every officer in the vicinity of a call to respond when back up is requested. It also said people are legally required to follow officer commands, including exiting a vehicle.

Mutepe Akemon, Campbell's attorney, said his client appeared before a magistrate 24 hours after the arrest and pled guilty to disorderly conduct.

The charge of improper lane change was dropped in exchange for her guilty plea.

Several local lawmakers also held a news conference on Friday, who said Campbell was a Lyft driver and had a passenger in the car at the time of the arrest.

Rose Campbell

Campbell's attorneys said she suffers from hypertension and diabetes, and could have become ill during her arrest.

Despite Legg's resignation, State Rep. Erica Thomas (D-Austell) said Legg needs to be sent to prison "for what he did to Mama Campbell.

"We are calling for the officers who are responsible for this to be prosecuted under the fullest extent of the law," Thomas said.

Campbell initially said she wanted a simple apology from the officers, but now the incident has shaken her faith in police.

In a video statement, Alpharetta's Public Safety Chief John Robison explained he had "major concerns" about the way the incident unfolded.

Robison said the department released the video in a display of transparency.

They also posted the officer's resignation letter on the department's Facebook page.

On Friday afternoon, the American Civil Liberties Union denounced the arrest.

“The video of the violent arrest of Ms. Campbell ... is extremely disturbing,” said Burrell Ellis, political director of the ACLU of Georgia. “The behavior of the officers reinforces the perception that it is dangerous for African-Americans to interact with law enforcement.

"The ACLU of Georgia is calling on Alpharetta officials to convene a public meeting to hear and address immediately the community’s concerns regarding the police department’s use-of-force practices, policies, and training.”

Late Friday, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said it has received a request to investigate the incident.

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