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Wrongful arrest? Albany woman filing complaint

By   /   October 1, 2010  /   Comments

By Kevin Hogencamp

Brie Cooley was one minute from home to relieve her sister from babysitting her toddler and infant when her vehicle was rear-ended Tuesday afternoon at Dawson Road and Third Avenue.

That was the good part of Cooley’s day – compared to what happened next.

Within a matter of minutes, she was handcuffed in the back of a police patrol car. She had been cited for having no proof of insurance and then was arrested refusing to sign the citation.

“It really all happened in less than a minute. I was in shock. When I refused to sign the ticket because he knew I had insurance, I was confused. And when he pulled out his handcuffs, I was in shock,” she said.

Cooley says that if the officer would have explained to her that signing the citation was not admission of guilt, she wouldn’t have refused. Indeed, she was “un-arrested” later – still at the accident scene — after signing the ticket.

Cooley says that today, she will file a complaint against the officer.

“APD is out of control,” she said. “My wrists still have red marks on them (from the handcuffs) six hours later.”

Cooley was not at fault in the accident. At issue are if having an expired insurance card is failing to provide proof of insurance, and if not signing a citation subjects a person to arrest.

Since 2003, insurance cards are no longer proof of insurance in Georgia. Instead, a state-maintained database, the Georgia Electronic Insurance Compliance System, is used to verify vehicle insurance coverage. The change in procedure was made to decrease the number of uninsured vehicles on Georgia’s roads.

Indeed, before Cooley was arrested, the officer had verified through the state’s electronic insurance reporting system that she had valid insurance.

Albany Police Chief John Proctor did not immediately respond to The Albany Journal’s request for information and perspective about the incident Tuesday night.

It was the first run-in with the law for the 27-year-old wife of a youth pastor.

“I never raised my voice. I never used bad language. I did nothing except get an attitude from the police officer, who even refused to untighten my cuffs when they were hurting my wrists,” Cooley said.

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  • Published: 1792 days ago on October 1, 2010
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  • Last Modified: October 3, 2010 @ 1:21 am
  • Filed Under: Government


  1. Sandy says:

    I understand that this “youth Pastors” wife was in shock, but it is funny how at the scene, she was told that she needed to sign the ticket and she told the Officer that she had a officer friend who told her she didn’t have to sign a ticket and she was not signing. The officer at the scene told her that she didn’t sign the ticket that she would have to be arrested and Mrs Cooley’s response was “well then arrest me”. Funny how things change when you hear both sides to the story. I am sure that she was upset. But trying to slander the officer is wrong. The officer did not make the law!
    This is a youth pastor and wife that is teaching their youth that it is okay not to obey the law. Not cool!

  2. Bill says:

    The worst part is not only are these cops out of control, they are very poorly trained.

    1. snoopy01 says:

      They are not just out of control, they make their own laws and the judges back them up this needs to stop. How can this keep happening and they get away with it ?

    2. snoopy01 says:

      okay somebody explain this one to me. A person got a ticket for running a red light – the cop saw him run the red light in his rear view mirror, the cop had done went thru the light looked in his rear view mirrow and saw the car or truck not sure what it was, run the red light. And the judge sidded with the cop. How is this possible . If he saw the light on the other side change this did not mean the other light changed also. He did not see the light at all he was on the back side of it.

  3. Im shures that Brie and T C are praying for this brother. His attitude and treatment of Brie only proves that he needs it. WhenI have a bad day someone will get snapped at or my wife wil catch it,God only knows what this brother goes through on an average day. On the other hand, if it were my wife I,d probably want blood.

About the author

Owner / Editor / Writer

Tom Knighton is the publisher of The Albany Journal. In November, 2011, he became the first blogger to take over a newspaper anywhere in the world. In August of 2012, he made the difficult decision to take the Journal out of print circulation and become an online news agency, a first for the Albany area.

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