published Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Update: City of Chattanooga asks court to stop Mosaic event Saturday; judge to hold hearing Friday


by Cliff Hightower
Mosaic Church pastor Tim Reid speaks Tuesday about shootings that occurred Christmas morning outside of the Mosaic Church.
Mosaic Church pastor Tim Reid speaks Tuesday about shootings that occurred Christmas morning outside of the Mosaic Church.
Photo by Angela Lewis /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
  • Pastor Tim Reid speaks about incident outside Club Fathom
    Video courtesy of WRCB Channel 3.
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Should Club Fathom be shut down?
RELATED ARTICLE

-- Replay of live coverage of news conference on Chattanooga's Christmas Day shootings

-- Christmas morning shooting

-- Pastor Reid and Mayor Ron Littlefield also had earlier online chats on August 5, 2009. Transcripts can be read here.

UPDATE: Chattanooga city attorneys filed a complaint this morning in Circuit Court to stop Mosaic from holding an event on Saturday.

Assistant city attorney Phil Noblett said Circuit Court Judge Jeff Hollingsworth will have a hearing 9 a.m. Friday to determine whether to padlock the establishment.


City officials expect to file an injunction this morning to close a downtown church after years of violent incidents linked to the location.

"This has continued to be a problem in the downtown area and a danger to those who are using it for whatever purpose. It's a danger to the patrons, and it's a danger to the community at large," Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield said Tuesday.

  • Video: Pastor Tim Reid explains Club Fathom
    In an August 1, 2009 interview, Tim Reid, head pastor of Mosaic Church, explained the purpose of Club Fathom, part of the church’s outreach ministry. Mayor Ron Littlefield then expressed concern that visitors to the club were causing problems in area parking lots after hours.
  • Defining Mosaic’s mission
    Following a live online newsmakers chat at the Times Free Press on August 5, Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield and Mosaic Church Pastor Tim Reid discussed whether race is an issue in the city’s efforts to end Saturday night events at Club Fathom downtown.
  • photo
    This promotional flyer was distributed for a Christmas Eve event at Club Fathom.
    Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

  • photo
    A flyer for a Christmas Eve candlelight service lies on a stage at the Mosaic church.
    Photo by Angela Lewis.
    enlarge photo

About 11:45 p.m. on Christmas Eve, as many as 10 people were shot after Club Fathom, the youth ministry of the Mosaic church, let out 15 minutes before the city's curfew. A Chattanooga police officer who was working security at the time fired back after a teen brandished a gun, according to reports.

City officials said a fight between Crips and Bloods broke out, spilling into the streets about a block away when shots were exchanged.

"We were lucky we didn't have nine or 10 victims killed," said Chattanooga Police Chief Bobby Dodd.

"It certainly wasn't a silent night," Littlefield said.

Mosaic pastor Tim Reid said the 400 youths from his church were ambushed by gang members who were waiting outside as the party let out. He said no fights took place inside the building.

"Our youth were the victims in this tragedy," Reid said in a written statement. "Our youth have chosen to walk away from the gang lifestyle but remain in harm's way because of the violence of Chattanooga's current gang members."

Dodd said Club Fathom has been linked to violence for years.

"We have youth ministries all over the city where we don't have crowd fights; we don't have stabbings; we don't have shootings; we don't have these kind of problems," Dodd said. "If it's a church ministry, if it's a youth outreach, apparently, they are doing something wrong, because I can't recall in 25 years of service responding to another church in town and having to break up another fight like this."

In 2006, there were a total of nine assaults reported at the club and six other police calls. In 2007, there were two assaults, one of which included a 14-year-old girl who reported she was raped by an 18-year-old inside Mosaic.

In 2008, there were two assaults. In 2009, there were six assaults, three of which involved shots fired. In 2010, there were two assaults, and this year there were three assaults including this week's shooting.

"When Tim Reid says that it's a safe place, God deliver us from such safe places," Littlefield said. "I think the evidence speaks for itself. This is not a church. This is an insult to churches."

Dodd said Mosaic wasn't acting much like a church on Christmas Eve. Investigators learned the cover charge to enter the party escalated as the night went on, starting at $5 and jumping to $15 by the end of the night.

"That's very similar to a nightclub," he said.

Reid conceded the church did charge a cover.

"A lot of the kids do come in free if they are part of our programs. This is not really a money-making business. When everything is said and done, there's not a lot of money in what we do," he said.

Reid lists Fathom Inc. as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization, according to recent tax records. In 2009, the organization brought in $38,008 in revenue and spent $41,601, according to tax forms. Reid works 20 hours per week and said he does landscaping jobs to make ends meet, tax records show.

That's a stark contrast to 2005 tax records that show Mosaic brought in $119,858.

Reid said bad publicity has made the church lose money. Its youth group also lost out on grants when it was labeled a religious organization, he said. For that reason, Reid chose not to identify Fathom Inc. as a religious organization in state records required for nonprofit groups.

The church rents space from Jim and Beverly Henry. Jim Henry declined to comment Tuesday afternoon.

Reid said there are proper security measures in place at Club Fathom. The church paid for 10 security staff members the night of the shooting, only two of whom were police officers, he said.

With a crowd of about 400, at least eight law enforcement officers were needed for the event, Dodd said

On Christmas Eve, Reid said three youth flashed gang signs and were removed from the building. Youth also were searched before they entered and no alcohol was served, he said.

While Mosaic advertised Christmas carols, the reading of the "Christmas story" and fellowship over Christmas cookies till 2:30 a.m., another flier circulated online promoted the performance of a Chattanooga-based music group, Young Tru Millionaires, which features sex references and profanity in its lyrics.

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The online flier advertised a party infused with sex references, including a busty woman decked out in red lingerie and a Santa hat. The party was dubbed a "Smash or Pass" party, a term for hooking up.

"There has been discussion of lewd fliers and postings on social media for our youth group's Christmas party. Sadly, this is true. We cannot control what teenagers do through Twitter, Facebook, MySpace or YouTube," Reid said in the statement. "We do our best to try to stop these but many times they are out of our control."

Upon reading Reid's remarks, Littlefield responded, "If you cannot control what the youth do, perhaps you shouldn't be providing a place for them."

Reid said he sometimes allows secular groups to perform at the venue even if they don't send a Christian message.

"I would definitely say it's bad music. I don't want to preach to the choir. I'm going to take a few liberties with that. That's not for every church and I understand that," he said.

Kim White, CEO for River City Co., a nonprofit focused on growing downtown business, said the business community supports the city's attempts to combat violence and also its dealings with Mosaic.

"We want to make sure it's addressed. The business community is very concerned when we make the [Associated Press] news all across the world, when this is something we don't want to be known for," she said. "The business community is behind it and we want to be a part of solving the bigger issue -- not just this one club."

Contact staff writer Beth Burger at bburger@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6406.

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AndrewLohr said...

Upon reading Reid's remarks, Littlefield responded, "If you cannot control what the youth do, perhaps you shouldn't be providing a place for them."

If pastor Reid controlled what went on inside--nothing--and the violence took place on the street which Mayor Littlefield 'provided,' perhaps the problem is that our Mayor cannot control the street?

December 28, 2011 at 6:03 a.m.
cannonball said...

If the right people get their cut of the proceeds this story never makes the news.

December 28, 2011 at 7:34 a.m.
fftspam said...

Do YOU want to become a pastor like pastor Reid? Look up Universal Life Church. GET ORDAINED ONLINE and it is FREE!

December 28, 2011 at 7:39 a.m.
petrmoo said...

If the Mayor and Mr. Rico provided more police converge outside Mosaic perhaps they could control the events. Bottomline: this organization is trying to reach "at risk youth" AKA gang members and those associated with or at risk of becoming gang members. Blaming a pastor or,denying the existence of such gang activities does not mean they don't exist. Littlefield and Rico both are on record as denying the existence of gangs. They kids are going Togo smewhere

December 28, 2011 at 8:56 a.m.
Lr103 said...

fftspam said... Do YOU want to become a pastor like pastor Reid? Look up Universal Life Church. GET ORDAINED ONLINE and it is FREE!

Jesus didn't go to college either. Yet HE served a multitude and changed the lives of thousands for the positive. Then there are individuals who spend years and years in Seminary schools to learn the word and preach to the masses only to then turn out to be child molesters, pedophiles and fornicators hiding behind rightousness and misleading the masses.

December 28, 2011 at 8:57 a.m.
Lr103 said...

Littlefield said. "I think the evidence speaks for itself. This is not a church. This is an insult to churches

Most of today's churches would be an insult to Jesus Christ and His teachings. Jesus didn't use traditional means to address the people and problems of His time. That's why religous leaders of His time turned on Him too. They crucified him for being different and taking a different path to serve the needs of the masses.

December 28, 2011 at 9:07 a.m.
petrmoo said...

If the Mayor and Mr. Rico provided more police converge outside Mosaic perhaps they could control the events. Bottomline: this organization is trying to reach "at risk youth" AKA gang members and those associated with or at risk of becoming gang members. Blaming a pastor or,denying the existence of such gang activities does not mean they don't exist. Littlefield and Rico both are on record as denying the existence of gangs. These kids are going to go somewhere. If the pastor can change 1-2 kids is that not worth it? Mr. Dodd would seem well served by using the venue to include outside the venue to gather intelligence on the gangs and/or saturate the area with overt and covert LEOs. I'm just a retired soldier but it seems a no brainer to me. Whether i am comfortable with Mosiac's administration or not it's serves a population in need. Littlefield should stop the castigation and address the root cause- GANGS and a large disaffected youth population. He can't wish this problem away through his personal arrogance. Mr LITTLEFIELD- we have a problem- it is NOT Mosaic. This problem will not go away by itself and all I have seen is an increase in activity NOT a decrease. Mosaic will NOT magically solve this problem but it might make a difference. Mssrs. Littlefield and Rico present NO alternatives- end your denial and show a little LEADERSHIP that is what WE (taxpayers) pay you for. You are Public Servants START serving the PUBLIC not your personal egos.

December 28, 2011 at 9:08 a.m.
inquiringmind said...

The violence happened blocks away not in the club (church?). That is a reason to shut the church down? Someone objects to the lyrics.

This is a classic example where all the folks shouting to shut down this church scream "bloody murder" when someone objects to a prayer on a ball field or a Christmas display on the town square.

I think Littlefield will run into some constitutional issues trying to shut down a church.

But on the other hand, I'm a little perturbed over how that church on Mississippi in the old Baptist church causes such chaos on Sunday mornings with traffic, why don't we move to shut it down also! Besides they preach crazy theology anyway and are only in it to pay their preacher's salary. They even sing "Onward Christian soldiers" and Battle Hymn of the Republic" too blood thirsty!

Come to think about it, those Catholics worship idols, some terrorist might sneak into the Islam church building, the Jewish folks don't even worship Christ. I say shut them all down! They are a threat to public security!

Let's get Christ back in government !

December 28, 2011 at 9:13 a.m.
lookinfour said...

Lr103...I'm about to fall out of my chair. I agree with both of your posts this morning. Absolute truth. Nice job.

December 28, 2011 at 9:30 a.m.
talkthetalk911 said...

Here Goes my right wing wackieness... Lr103 here is an idea. if Mr. reid's ministry is so important why dont you and others who defend him open up your homes and start having the concerts...im sorry worship services at your home. As far as your comments about religeous leaders commiting child molestaions and other things...yes i would agree...some of our leaders of our churches have faild us. just like doctors, lawyers, sports figures, law enforcement, teachers, community leaders...etc. As far as Jesus not going to college...yes he did not attend Lee University but he did do His studies. And has far as Mr. Reid being refered to as "Pastor", a pastor protects his flock as well. Oh yeah and what about the verse where it talks about all things in worship being done in order? Lake Winnie years back, Hamilton place Mall years back, Hamilton Skate Place, Cooledeg Park, Phathom, other clubs along the way...these places have had to take measures at some point in time due to violence or lack of decent behavior due to black youth. Not a racial statement...merely a statement of fact. Yes I know...white people commit crime as well. As do all races. Solution? Goes far beyond something that can be fixed over night. Some where along the way it was left up to the government to find something for youth to do and be the sole responsable party in doing such. To an extent i agree since the government helped create this enviroment of excepting bad behavior due to race, economic staus, or a broken home. Are those contributing factors?Yes! Should they be used as an excuse? Certainly not! Its no secret that there have been issues down at Phathom. What i would like to know is know matter where it has been happening why are these parents of these teens allowing their kids to go????The old saying goes...it starts at home.

December 28, 2011 at 9:37 a.m.
maddawg said...

Inquiringmind....actually it happened right outside the door of the "church". The Cherry ST. entrance.

December 28, 2011 at 9:40 a.m.
fftspam said...

"If the pastor can change 1-2 kids is that not worth it?" at the expense of 10 people getting shot? And is there any evidence of this 'pastor' Reid even attending these events that attract the violence that they do? None of your arguments make any sense. And they make you look like a naive fool.

December 28, 2011 at 9:42 a.m.
Livn4life said...

OK I get they are trying to reach at risk kids. Now would someone publish a story where they actually rescued someone from a gang or a bad bad situation? That would help anyone with questions about what they are doing. Instead, all we hear are the stories where violent acts are associated with the place. As for all you who bash the "traditional" church and experiences, well it seems you will be having your way soon as that movement is declining rapidly. At that point we will see how marvelous the culture becomes. As the true church's influence has declined and a more liberal believe whatever you want, do pretty much what you want approach has emerged, we have not become better as a nation. So you will have your way very soon and then whom will you bash for wanting to hold to the truth of the Gospel and trying to simply follow Jesus Christ?

December 28, 2011 at 9:45 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

I find the invitation posted in this article offensive. A woman dressed in a tight red santa suit with cleavage bulging out the top? This was a church event? Does this church promote women in this way? And people think I am immoral because I am a non-believer...

December 28, 2011 at 9:50 a.m.

Could you please give us some dates as to when the nation was better, and describe to us in what ways it was actually better?

But do remember, that what some paper or other journalistic source reports isn't necessarily the whole, they make their money off the salacious, not the humdrum. Oh sure, some feel-good stories come up, but they're hardly going to get half the attention of a scandal.

December 28, 2011 at 9:52 a.m.
fftspam said...

petrmoo... You are so quick to point the blame.. what is your solution?? Maybe it should be parents that are responsible for their kids? Parents not letting their kids be in a situation where they might get shot? Maybe kids that actually have fathers? Maybe getting people off the endless cycle of entitlements?

December 28, 2011 at 9:56 a.m.
Lr103 said...

Livn4life said... As for all you who bash the "traditional" church and experiences, well it seems you will be having your way soon as that movement is declining rapidly. At that point we will see how marvelous the culture becomes

Please enlighten us. Just how marvelous the culture was before this allege decline of "traditional" church?

The truth isn't bashing. The truth are simple facts. Try it on sometime. The truth is most of your traditional churches around Chattanooga wanted nothing, ZIP, to do with troubled black youth until they saw money being offered. In fact, some black churches openly stated they wanted nothing to do with those hoodlums! They only had a change of mind after they saw there was money to be had in ministering to those hoodlums. So who's the real hypocrit in all this? Verses who's the one actually trying to reach out to Chattanooga's troubled youth, which on first appearance, appears to be primarily young black males. Tim Reid or these false prophets parading around in ministering garb?

We still believe that a few of Chattanooga's finest might just have a direct or indirect hand in some of the problems that keep cropping up in areas where a way is being made for a particularly targeted class and, yes, race. That fact and probability can't be ignored either. History is your friend. Try it sometimes. You might be in for a rude awakening. We're talking about the other history here, and not just the glorified part that made it into textbooks.

December 28, 2011 at 9:57 a.m.
talkthetalk911 said...

Happy Bulbs: i cant believe it but i agree with you! Yes for some reason the old saying goes "if it bleeds it leads". Thats because they cater to the readers. We asa generation have grown to like to hear about violence, a scandle or some type of corruption. Ever wonder why shows about famous people's private lives are on TV? Its because thereis an audience for it! Why people want to know more about what is going on on Jersey Shore or some house wife show i have no idea. Maybe its because the norm (or what used to be) or the "hundrum" so to speak just isnt exciting.

December 28, 2011 at 10:02 a.m.
fftspam said...

To everybody posting here trying to defend Club Fathom/Mosiac/Warehousevenue and trying to explain why nine kids were shot and trying to justify it by saying anything other the truth... You do know that you sound like a fool.

December 28, 2011 at 10:03 a.m.
talkthetalk911 said...

Happybulbs: just as i thought i agreed with you...darn. You see the problem is is what you are refering to as the traditional church. You say that they are not doing anything to help black youth. Your right! they are doing things to help all youth and taking race out of it. Do you think that black kids are being turned away from the tradtional church as you call it? Its time to stop with the racial divide. people who want specific things for specific races is racism!

December 28, 2011 at 10:16 a.m.

Well-intentioned. Misguided. Now, a reproach. An opportunity for political grand-standing. And a distraction from addressing gangs and related problems.

December 28, 2011 at 10:24 a.m.
HiDef said...

AndrewLohr said -

If pastor Reid controlled what went on inside--nothing--and the violence took place on the street which Mayor Littlefield 'provided,' perhaps the problem is that our Mayor cannot control the street?

I'm dumbfounded that you're actually trying to defend this "church" Andrew. You, the super-holy-roller is putting the blame on the Mayor and not the club providing offensive music and using scantily clad women to "reach out" to at risk youth.

inquiringmind said -

I think Littlefield will run into some constitutional issues trying to shut down a church.

It's not a church. Remember, Mr. Reid didn't want to be labeled a church so his 990 shows him running a generic, family counseling non-profit. Even then, what in the world does the constitution have to do with shutting down a facility that is known for having multiple disturbances resulting in violence?

Let's get Christ back in government !

I hope you're joking...

December 28, 2011 at 10:46 a.m.
eastridge8 said...

I think you pretty much summed it up for us all,w_w _w _t_w...

December 28, 2011 at 10:50 a.m.

Talk, you are confusing me with another poster, because I said no such thing, it was lr103. Please address yourself to thm, not me.

Now to the part, about what I actually said, you are mistaken about one thing, that it is a new thing. It is not new to any recent generation. Yellow journalism is quite old for example.

December 28, 2011 at 11:07 a.m.
stratparrott said...

As someone who has rented out the space many times for events, it's not to say that it is the Churches fault although this time it was a Mosaic event. Usually Tim rents the space to other promoters and people looking for a venue. The issues often arise from mismanagement and understanding of basic crowd control and event production.

Anyone can rent the venue with NO experience and 300+ people may show up. That's a lot to deal with if you're inexperienced.

On many occasions myself and other local experienced promoters have had well over 700 people in attendance with no incident or violence.

It's sort of like having a wedding with out a licensed wedding planner, it can be done but its a lot more work and there is A LOT more room for error.

December 28, 2011 at 12:51 p.m.
SeaSmokie59er said...

Religion in Government, you mean like the Taliban?

December 28, 2011 at 1:16 p.m.

fftspam

To lump all of the folks together that meet at that address is also not right to do. The warehouse venue is a tenant at that location and leases their room from the mosaic church...They had nothing to do with the events and have been there for a year with not a single police phone call..Also a place called River City church rents out the facility on Sunday mornings, and another small church which meets downstairs... there are a few separate entities under the same roof..

December 28, 2011 at 1:52 p.m.

fftspam

sorry not trying to call you out, everything else you have said is dead on and i agree, i just hate to see my buds (warehouse) get lumped in with the mess. They were in East Ridge for 3 years before moving downtown and only made the paper for helping the community kitchen and helping with the homeless of chatt..good folks!

December 28, 2011 at 2:15 p.m.
John_Proctor said...

If the Mosaic is a church then I did a lot of worshiping at various bars and taverns during my misspent youth. My fellow believers, Jack, George, Jim and Bud helped me have visions but they were definitely not the kind my Shiite Baptist family considered religious.

If he rents the space, his stamp of approval is on those promoting the event. How about if he just turns the upstairs into a shooting range? That way, the violence could stay indoors which would make for easier policing. (For the humor impaired feces flingers, that's meant to be a humorous suggestion.)

December 28, 2011 at 2:40 p.m.
lostsheep said...

Dont bring Christ into this, because you know nothing of him!

"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Matthew 7:21-23

December 28, 2011 at 3:15 p.m.
j17davis said...

Yes Lr103, but Jesus was also a fairy tell

December 28, 2011 at 3:20 p.m.
skyboxer said...

As a long time Baptist minister of 30 years I think a smart solution would be adding a well lit shooting range behind the club. We could combine it with some sort of outreach and services function. There is nothing wrong with shooting guns ... there just needs to be some guidance and oversight and adult supervision.

December 28, 2011 at 3:20 p.m.
skyboxer said...

j17davis you are 100% right ... Jesus was/is a fairy tale. He existed but he wasn't any more "the son of God" than you me or anyone else. He was just a Jewish version of Martin Luther King -- only a lot shorter and a little lighter skinned. He may have believed that though having been suffering from a temporal lobe seizure disorder and/or possibly being mentally ill. That, it is a fun fairytale and people are desperate so I am glad to continue to carry on from the pulpit so people won't be as scared and can continue to function in life with less drugs and alcohol.

December 28, 2011 at 3:40 p.m.
Lr103 said...

talkthetalk911 said... Here Goes my right wing wackieness... Lr103 here is an idea. if Mr. reid's ministry is so important why dont you and others who defend him open up your homes and start having the concerts...im sorry worship services at your home

Wouldn't that be in violation of some kind of city ordinance or something? Then some neighbor doing their christian duty would likely call police to report their neighbor is dealing drugs with so much traffic entering and exiting their home.

But anywho, since you made the suggestion why don't you try it on for size. See how long it will take before some neighbor reports you and your home gets a bomb-rush visit from the citys finest. ;)

December 28, 2011 at 3:50 p.m.
Lr103 said...

Did they ever locate that mysterious individual who is allege to have fired a weapon and also allegedly point said weapon at the off-duty cop? Who made that off-duty cop fire his weapon in return? Inquiring minds would like to know.

Will any bullet testings be done to determine who actually shot who? Too many mysterious people and vehicles seem to be showing up at these problem spots, then disappearing not to be seen again. hmmmmmmmmmmm!

December 28, 2011 at 4:04 p.m.
Lr103 said...

j17davis said... Yes Lr103, but Jesus was also a fairy tell

That's always a possibility. Like the soldier, Marine whatever, who went to war and when he returned home said, "Once you've been to war you realize there is no God!" Otherwise, if there were how could man be so unkind to his fellow man. How could a loving God allow people to commit such horrible acts against their fellow man? However, humans still need HIM if only as an idea, a goal, someone to aspire to, someone to emulate. Look around you and see how inhumane most of us are, even with our beliefs in a loving GOD and a son who gave His life for us. If humans can be so cruel to one another where there's some level of belief often mixed with doubt, can you imagine what we'd do to another, how we'd devour, consume one another, destroy one another_if there were no beliefs at all? If there were no belief in consequences for committing bad, even heinouse, horrific acts against one an other? If nothing else, a belief in Jesus Christ is our conscious trying to remind us to be kind to one another. A simple message that more often than not falls on deaf hears. :<

December 28, 2011 at 4:11 p.m.
Welcome_2 said...

Just in case some of you missed it. None of the individuals at the Christ-mas party were involved in this. Also, as I and others suspected, the advertising put out by Mr. Reid was true to form. What others, without his knowledge nor consent used Twitter, Facebook, Myspace and/or youtube to post the lewd advertising. Wonder if that can be traced back? It might just reveal some real devious hands at play that have nothing to do with gangs, after all? Like I said, and I'll say it again, there's something more going on here. Get some outside investigations going.

Here's an excerpt from Mr. Reid and Club Fathom facebook page:

quote:__"In some media outlets there has been discussion of lewd flyers and postings on social media for our youth groups Christmas party. Sadly this is true. We cannot control what teenagers do through Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, or YouTube. Some youth make these things up about our outreach events or worship services thinking they are being funny, other do it out of malicious content. We do our best to try to stop these but many times they are out of our control"

December 28, 2011 at 5:28 p.m.
petrmoo said...

Fftspam- certainly the goal is preservation and promotion of the nuclear family. Fathers that lead, support, and raise their children are good things but the increase in children with no paternal leadership continues. It is a FACT, and must be addressed by action not sticking our heads in the sand. Gang violence, drugs, and desolution of families must be addressed not by closing those few entities that engage them, but by finding a way to augment existing resources, not closing the few that exist. I BLAME the Mayor and Rico because they deny the problem and blame those trying to make a difference. They are charged to LEAD not place blame. "Naive fool" you say- You have to address the environment we have Not what we wish we had. Littlefield needs to lead not waste waste taxpayer money sueing a "church" entity or sueing to hold his position. This cannot be resolved by the cult of Ron or Manny. Finally, i realize faceless blog sites promote bold talk, too bad we can't meet in person. I spent 27 years fighting bullies and gangs. What do you do besides pseudointellectualize?

December 28, 2011 at 7:20 p.m.
lookinfour said...

If this was a religious Christmas party geared towards youth, why did it have to be held at 11:30 until 1:00am? Mr. Reid acknowledges that these youth are troubled and have or had gang affiliations. When does the majority of shootings, stabbings, and other gang related crimes occur? During the hours of this party. Why couldn't a church Christmas party with this type of audience be held during earlier daylight hours? It could have been. Although I doubt it, the shootings still could have occurred, but everyone involved could have had a better opportunity of identifying the perpetrators.

December 28, 2011 at 7:41 p.m.
Legend said...

lookinfour, They also held a church service from midnight until around 2:30 a.m. Individuals under 18 weren't allowed unless accompanied by a parent or adult guardian, since there's a midnight curfew. Perhaps, the party was held at that late an hour to give the teens somewhere to go besides hanging out on the streets? The other truth is, it was later revealed what happened actually took place several blocks away from the Fathom Club. Pretty much of what we've read in the media wasn't quite the truth, or an exaggerated form of the truth. But the media was only regurgitating what they'd received from the CPD. Did CPD purposely feed misinformation to the media? Wouldn't be at all surprsing, as it wouldn't be the first time.

You know it took a tragedy the magnitude of Katrina in New Orleans to expose NOLA police were pretty much a driving force behind the crime wave ravishing the city and especially in the French Quarter and Nineth Ward that had been taking place for decades.

December 28, 2011 at 8:49 p.m.
67melissamb said...

Close this place or not.....it is still not going the take care of the root problem. Do I think this is a shady place...yes. Will it take care of the violence in our city if we shut it down?..absolutely NOT! Whether it is a fight that breaks out in front of this club/church or at Coolidge Park, at a school or at the skating rink near Hamilton Place mall,things are never going to change unless there is more accountability. We are losing our kids to needless violence. We have a lot of people growing up with no guidance and/or direction for their lives. I deal with the Chattanooga youth on a daily basis and many feel "hopeless". Some people get into drugs to escape, some join gangs to feel like part of a "family". This is not a location issue, nor is it a black or white issue. Our future generation needs our generation to reach out and mentor, encourage and teach them that there are other options for their lives. We will not reach everyone and I am not naive to believe this is the "blanket" solution. But, touch one life! Start with that one person that you see struggling! In turn, maybe that person can do the same for someone else. Oh, and if we think that giving someone a "slap on the hand" when they continuously break the law, we are just setting ourselves up for worse. Do we really expect things to get better if these repeat offenders are let off with a few days in jail or a warning?

December 28, 2011 at 9:12 p.m.
Oz said...

Does anybody really give a damn about the opinion of the River City Co?

December 28, 2011 at 10:21 p.m.
lookinfour said...

You're an absolute nut case Legend to be comparing what happened here to what happened in New Orleans with Katrina.

The "churches" own flyer which is posted in this article above says doors open at 11:30pm with a candlelight service from 12-1. That is their flyer. Or is this another one of your conspiracies as well? I guess the police made this flyer up since everything a a conspiracy to you to make the poor kids look bad, like criminals.

Give the "kids" something to do instead of being in the streets? At midnight, 1 or 2 am? The "kids" as you call them should be at home with those parents who lugged them out. The "kids" have no business being out at those hours. My "kid" was home at that those hours.

You, along with a few others on here have nothing but racist excuses for EVERYTHING that occurs involving the black community. Never a solution. Never viable facts. All EXCUSES for criminal behavior.

December 28, 2011 at 10:51 p.m.
lookinfour said...

Oz...the river city woman, no. Her point that this story made national news, yes. My brother living in the northeast asked me about this incident Christmas day after reading online.

December 28, 2011 at 10:57 p.m.
lookinfour said...

Keeanta Howard, one of the shooting victims here, was interviewed tonight on Channel 3. On camera he said, "I thought it was an old art museum or something" (referring to Mosaic) Callie Starnes asks, "So you weren't aware it was a church?" He shakes his head no.

Real nice Christmas Eve candlelight service (with a cover charge at the door). Mr. Reid is a liar. Shut the place down now.

December 28, 2011 at 11:07 p.m.
Legend said...

lookinfour said... You're an absolute nut case Legend to be comparing what happened here to what happened in New Orleans with Katrina.

And you're absolutely and a moron lookinfour. Who apparently failed reading comprehension in grade school. I was not comparing what happened in New Orleans with Katrina to the situation in Chattanooga, but that it took Katrina to expose just the criminal element that has long existed within the New Orleans police department. Who had long been involved with much of the criminal activity and other deviate problems taking place in the city. dah!

Keeanta Howard is one person. So what, in your opinion, should a church have to look like on the inside to be considered a church. OH! I forget. That traditional stuff right? Reading through many of these posts it difficult to decide who is actually more pitiful. But it's obvious Chattanooga has a much bigger problem than with its problem youth.

December 28, 2011 at 11:24 p.m.
Legend said...

Bottom line, the powers wants the downtown area to be exclusive and geared towards only a certain class and type of Chattanoogans. The only things missing are the "NO__ _ ALLOWED" signs(fill in the blank). They'll be throwing those up next, no doubt.

December 28, 2011 at 11:28 p.m.
pikeville said...

Unfortunatly youth don't learn from others mistakes. In some cases they have to learn from their own over and over before they get it. A large number of kids who are in Tennessee's youth development centers today have been raised like an abused animal. This is sad and where our solution begins. When a child is handed a joint by their Mom when they are 8 yrs old,or their Dad hand them a meth pipe. This child is doomed from the start. Natural instincts will kick in because even a child knows this is wrong and they began staying away from home. Peer pressure is a HUGE contributing factor in delinquency, and that's the first place they go once outside the house. After months of influences from the scum of the earth, kids begin to loose sight of wright and wrong. At this point they have to be removed away from the toxic environment that has built them. Hopefully they will be sent to a place where people care and have a passion for helping these type kids. Many places our state uses to treat these youth don't work, and the private providers that are paid by the state are in it for profit. This means services will be cut in the name of the all important dollar. Until we have a Great administrator in charge of DCS that will insure the incompetent people working in the system are weeded out the problem will grow. I'm not knocking all DCS or HR state employees but I do know for a fact some should never hold the positions they do. If in fact the best interest of the child is states top priority

December 28, 2011 at 11:57 p.m.
lookinfour said...

Legend...I could put a quarter down in front of you and you would want to jump up and down claiming it was a nickel.

As far as Mr. Howard attending and not knowing he was in a church. I don't think the point is what the building looked like, or what was hanging on the walls. The point should be taken that the activities inside of Club Fathom that night did not lead him to believe he was in a church. If the church is advertising a candlelight church service, everyone attending you would think would know they were attending a candlelight church service.

Sometimes you just have to dumb it down.

December 28, 2011 at 11:57 p.m.
328Kwebsite said...

There are some unfair statements in the story above which seem to have been presented without balance.

When our citizens get shot, we expect intelligent and reasonable comments from government officials. We see that is lacking here.

The remark by the Police Chief that events of 400 people require at least 8 police officers is observably untrue. Sporting events attract thousands of attendees; we do not see one police officer for every 50 people at those. Expecting one policeman for every 50 people at a gathering is unreasonable and unsupported by common observation.

1 to 50 is not acceptable ratio of law enforcement officials to the point that he could not cover any public place to that degree.

It could not be done at any large event, any grocery store, any other church, any other downtown restaurant or bar from Hennan's to Niko's. It's quite frankly, totally unreasonable to the point of being a fantasy. I'm shocked that a government official made such a statement.

Mayor Littlefield's comments continue to remain detached from reality. We have all given up on him and his low IQ. If he succeeds in saying anything intelligent, that should make headlines on its own.

Trying to suggest that the pastor is personally responsible for the conduct of every young person in his church is again, unreasonable and unsupported by common observation. I'm confident that no pastor anywhere in this city can be held responsible for the conduct of any young person immediately after they leave a church event.

Do you hold your pastor responsible for every teen pregnancy that occurs in his church? Do you hold pastors accountable for any act of violence that teens commit? Why start now?

It's not reasonable or common to observe any situation that supports the unreasonable remarks made by Mayor Littlefield or Chief Dodd as they were quoted in the story above.

I doubt they can cite one single instance in any other event that would support the reasoning of their claims made above; in other words, they would not hold any other pastor accountable to the degree that they are blaming this one.

Again, we should encourage our community to focus on a solution. We gain nothing from avoiding the facts at hand. We should welcome, not fear, our own citizens. Trying to runaway, shutdown or blame will not fix the problem.

We expect better leadership from government officials. As a former government official myself, I am personally shocked that the Chattanooga Chief of Police would be so stupid as to have made the statements he made in the story above. Sad to say, we cannot expect less from Mayor Littlefield than what he's done so far.

Think about what we need to do for these kids. There were 400 of them out there. What now? Denying them a place to gather does not solve the problem. If anything, things are as bad as they are because this was one of the few places they had to go which would welcome them.

December 29, 2011 at 12:13 a.m.
macropetala8 said...

According to channel 3 news, a number of interesting things were said by one of the victims I think many have overlooked.

  1. "it was hard to tell what direction the bullet came from." _a. If no one really knows which direction the shooting came from, how can they tell exactly who fired shots or why the shots were fired?

  2. "police got one thing wrong -- this shooting was not between rival gangs. "Me and my friends who got hit, it didn't have nothing to do with no gang stuff," said Howard, "I don't think they'll be able to blame it on gangs, because most people who were hit were innocent"

People, this stuff could be coming from anyone in an attempt to make it look as if Chattanooga is being overrun by gang activity and to have a reason to control who can and can't enter downtown at certain hours (sundowning anyone?). Who knows? Even some law abiding__license to carry gun owner. It's not as if none of these type shannigans have never been a part of Chattanooga or southern history.

And outside investigation with no ties to the local power structure or police needs to take place. Stuff is starting to smell quite fishy in Chattanooga.

December 29, 2011 at 12:38 a.m.
lookinfour said...

That guy in the story was shot in the back and as he said, he didn't know that he had been shot until he got to his car. So of course, this one person only has limited knowledge of what happened. There were many other there who I would hope to give good information to police rather than just say some guys in white t shirts did it.

As far as gangs and this guy saying he's not involved with gangs so it couldn't be gang related. Innocent bystanders get shot. I doubt if there were that many people out there the 9 people shot were all intended victims. They just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

December 29, 2011 at 12:57 a.m.
fftspam said...

328Kwebsite stop denying the obvious. The reason that you do not see the a high ratio of LEOs at sporting events or grocery stores or Niko's or where ever is because the people that go to sporting events, grocery stores, etc. do not attract gun fire. Compare the history of the number of events and number of gun shots at Fathom versus the same at Chattanooga Market or Nightfall. Stop denying the obvious.

December 29, 2011 at 7:20 a.m.
inquiringmind said...

Upon reading Reid's remarks, Littlefield responded, "If you cannot control what the youth do, perhaps you shouldn't be providing a place for them."

I guess the mayor does not have any teenagers, or his wife takes care of them...

December 29, 2011 at 8:05 a.m.
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