published Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Hamilton County seeks federal, state help with crime

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    A member of the Chattanooga Crime Scenes Unit photographs evidence left at the scene of a homicide in this file photo.

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Hamilton County Commission agenda session - Oct. 25, 2011

Audio clip

Hamilton County Commission recessed meeting - Oct. 25, 2011

Hamilton County commissioners decided Tuesday to seek state or federal help in stopping more shootings like the two this week in East Chattanooga.

Commissioner Warren Mackey, who recently held a standing-room-only community meeting to field concerns in District 4 about violence, took time in a Tuesday agenda session to ask for a solution.

"We're becoming one of the most dangerous cities in the United States of America," he said. "Some people say this is a city issue. The city of Chattanooga is located within Hamilton County, and we represent the city, as well."

The request comes just after the city had its 23rd homicide victim for the year.

A man clad in black opened fire with an assault rifle Sunday night as people sat outside homes in the 1900 block of Walker Street. Four people were wounded and one was killed. No arrests had been made as of Tuesday.

VanDaryl Rivers, 22, was shot in the head and was pronounced dead at Erlanger. Witnesses told police the shooter walked a block away before getting into what appeared to be a white vehicle.

To date, there have been 48 shootings with injuries this year in the city, including one Monday night in which 44-year-old Kenneth Eady was shot on Roanoke Avenue, allegedly following an argument with his stepson.

Commissioner Fred Skillern, who represents northwestern sections of the county, proposed that the body seek state or federal intervention in the form of a task force to address violent crime. Other commissioners agreed, deciding to draft a resolution to be voted on next Wednesday at its planned commission meeting.

"We need all the help we can get," Mackey said of the request for outside help.

Commissioner Joe Graham said Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond and Chattanooga Police Chief Bobby Dodd "have a better working relationship now" than in past administrations.

Before Skillern proposed the task force, commissioners discussed whether to increase the sheriff's budget or hold a hearing.

"We need to prioritize," Commissioner Greg Beck said. "If we can have a hearing on deer killings, why can't we have a hearing on people killings?"

Beck, who was vocal in 2010 about curbing violent crime after a high-profile shooting in Coolidge Park, suggested Tuesday that prayer and vigilance would help.

"You just get to this place where you wonder what in the world you can do," he said.

Mackey said those committing the crimes need something to fill their idle time -- and hope.

Staff writer Beth Burger contributed to this story.

about Ansley Haman...

Ansley Haman covers Hamilton County government. A native of Spring City, Tenn., she grew up reading the Chattanooga Times and Chattanooga Free Press, which sparked her passion for journalism. Ansley's happy to be home after a decade of adventures in more than 20 countries and 40 states. She gathered stories while living, working and studying in Swansea, Wales, Cape Town, South Africa, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Ga., and Knoxville, Tenn. Along the way, she interned for ...

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semjr4642 said...

What happened to Weed and Seed?

October 26, 2011 at 8:09 a.m.
sangaree said...

Another news outlet writing on this story mentioned Mackey's suggestion as nothing more than another mass round-up. When will black leaders, such as Mackey, realize that these so-called roundups have done nothing but contributed to the decline and further decimation of the poor communities they represent?

These federal, state and local round-ups do nothing but fill jails and prisons beyond capacity of young black males. Disrupting families and any small incomes they may have been bringing in with their minimum wage jobs. Separating fathers from their children. Then these same black leaders cry and whine about why so many young black males are wasting away in prisons and jails all across America, the high rate of unemployment of black Americans and black children growing up without fathers. When will America's black population learn what the Asians, Jews, Native American Indians learned a long time ago? They too have been routinely persecuted throughout American history. That's why you'll never see them asking and begging others to come in and solve their issues.

semjr4642 said... What happened to Weed and Seed?

Weed and Seed was never anything but a rip-off and exploitation of the poor and mostly black___and an effort to gentrify these communities under the pretense of weeding out the problems and seeding in solutions. What a joke played on primarily poor blacks by fellow blacks?!!

October 26, 2011 at 9:09 a.m.
rolando said...

It's right here, payingattention:


If it wasn't so pitiful it would be humorous...Hamilton County taking action to stop crime within Chattanooga. Sure says a lot about land-grabber in chief, Mayor Littlefield.

Crime problem? We don't have no stinkin' crime problem. Now public art...we got lot's of that. -Mayer Littlefield

October 26, 2011 at 10:38 a.m.
smhunt said...

@ semjr4642- Weed and Seed, like a lot of federally funded programs to assist people has been cut. I know the one that was in this area has closed up shop.

October 26, 2011 at 6:05 p.m.
macropetala8 said...

smhunt said... @ semjr4642- Weed and Seed, like a lot of federally funded programs to assist people has been cut. I know the one that was in this area has closed up shop.

weed and seed was never anything but another rip-off and exploitation of some of the poorest and most vulnerable Chattanoogans. All they did was form committee after committee and place family and friends on the payrolls. They could have used the funds to helped with micro loans the way India did with its poor to help start up micro businesses. The same way funds have been misused in some of the poorest countries in Africa and the people continue to suffer is the same thing that happens in America to its poor and most vulnerable. Exploitation

October 26, 2011 at 6:50 p.m.
joneses said...

Littlefield is worthless.

October 26, 2011 at 9:30 p.m.
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