IF YOU GO
What: News conference concerning recent shootings
When: 3 p.m. today
Where: City Hall steps, 101 E. 11th St.
Who: Black community leaders and ministers asked to attend
Retired police officer Napoleon Williams is appealing to the black community in particular to stem a wave of violence among Chattanooga’s young people unlike any in his nearly half-century of experience.
“I was a police officer for 47 years, and I’m concerned about this city,” Williams said Thursday. “We need to put a curfew on young people until they get their act together. If not, they’re going to take the city over.”
Williams, who is black, is asking black leaders, retired law enforcement officers and ministers to meet at 3 p.m. today at City Hall to discuss what can be done to stop young people from shooting each other.
He wants stricter enforcement of curfew laws and for parents to be more accountable for their children.
Sixteen people have been shot this month in the Chattanooga area, four fatally. One of the survivors was a 3-year-old boy shot in the leg.
Last Saturday at Coolidge Park, shots rang in a crowd of more than 300 people. No one was hurt, but witnesses and police drew parallels to a nearly identical incident one year ago in which five people were shot.
Enforcing the juvenile curfew wouldn’t hurt, said Chattanooga police Officer Corey Stokes.
The curfew is 10:30 p.m. on school days for children 16 and younger and 11:30 p.m. for those 17 and younger. The curfew is one hour later on weekends. Teens caught in violation of the law may be taken home or taken into custody, Stokes said.
Most of the people at Coolidge Park on Saturday were teens or younger, but that shooting occurred about 8:20 p.m., records show.
Several suspects in other shootings this month are 18 and older, and not subject to the curfew.
Retired Chattanooga police officer Frank Newsom said efforts to stop the shootings must start somewhere. He also suggested enforcing the curfew law and asking parents to be more accountable.
“We have too many parents not keeping up with their kids and not training the kids to do the right thing,” Newsom said.
Yolanda Putman has been a reporter at the Times Free Press for 11 years. She covers housing and previously covered education and crime. Yolanda is a Chattanooga native who has a master’s degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Alabama State University. She previously worked at the Lima (Ohio) News. She enjoys running, reading and writing and is the mother of one son, Tyreese. She has also ...