Duluth, GA – A woman was arrested for impersonating a police officer in order to get free snacks at a convenience store, and the officer who loaned her the badge and gun is now out of a job (video below).
The incident began when Gwinnett County Police Officer J.T. Smith saw 33-year-old Pektra LaQuiche Edgerton using a police badge to get free food at a QuikTrip, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
It’s a common practice for some convenience stores in the area to give first responders free snacks, WSB reported.
Something about Edgerton’s behavior caught Officer Smith’s attention, so when he noticed a taillight out on her vehicle, he initiated a traffic stop.
Bodycam video showed that the driver, Edgerton, was still wearing a badge around her neck and a gun at her hip when the officer approached the vehicle.
Officer Smith told Edgerton why he stopped her and then asked who she worked for, the video showed. “So you stopped me because my brake light is out or you stopped to ask me who I work for?” Edgerton asked the officer. “Well, I’m asking you both,” he replied. “DCS,” she replied.
The officer clarified that she was referring to the Department of Children’s Services (DCS), and then asked Edgerton for her license and police credentials, the video showed.
Edgerton tried to argue with the officer about probable cause for the stop, and after a few seconds, Officer Smith cut to the chase. “Look, long story short, I just want to know who you work for,” Officer Smith told the driver. “Okay, and that’s the issue. Why you want to know who I work for,” Edgerton said.
The video showed that Officer Smith explained that he was checking because he had worked in the area for 13 years and never seen her around before. “So a black person walks into a store with a badge and a gun and it’s an issue?” Edgerton asked. “It has nothing to do with you being black,” Officer Smith replied.
The video showed the officer was clearly done with the driver’s malarkey. “Are you a police officer, or are you not a police officer?” Officer Smith asked. Edgerton admitted she was not, in fact, a law enforcement officer. Officer Smith asked her why she would go into the QuikTrip pretending to be an officer. “You don’t have to be a police officer to go in there. I’ve been doing it for three years,” Edgerton said, and claimed she was a DCS officer.
She continued arguing that the officer had stopped her because she was black. “So you’re presenting yourself as a police officer with your badge and your gun on your side,” Officer Smith pointed out. “Okay,” Edgerton replied. “You understand that?” the officer asked. “I do understand that. My issue with you is that…” Edgerton continued to lecture the officer whom the video showed had had enough of the police impersonator.
So Officer Smith called DCS and quickly learned that Edgerton was not employed by that agency, the video showed. He returned to the car and told the women they were caught. Then the video showed the officer verifying with the DCS person on the phone that the car’s passenger, Brandi Green, was actually a DCS officer.
Green admitted to Officer Smith that she’d loaned her badge and gun to Edgerton to facilitate getting free snacks at the QuikTrip while she sat outside in the car, WSB reported.
Edgerton was arrested and charged with felony impersonating an officer and a moving violation for the broken tail light, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
She was released the same day on a $4,146 bond. Green was suspended by DCS immediately, WSB reported.
“Upon being made aware of Ms. Green’s conduct, an internal investigation was initiated and Ms. Green was immediately suspended,” a spokesman for DCS said. “After Ms. Green was made aware of the forthcoming investigation, she resigned… on the same day.”
Watch the whole bizarre interaction in the video:
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