Chattanooga: Meeting on police shootings grows heated, emotional

Chattanooga: Meeting on police shootings grows heated, emotional

August 18th, 2009 by Jacqueline Koch in Local Regional News

Staff Photo by Margaret Fenton Rev. Dwight Harrison introduced the word "murder' into the discussion on Tuesday evening at Glenwood Recreation Center. The NAACP held the community meeting to discuss an independent investigation into the recent shootings by area Police.

An NAACP meeting tonight to discuss recent police-involved shootings grew more heated and emotional by the minute as Chattanooga residents expressed their anger and frustration.

Some accused the Chattanooga Police Department of lying and snickered as police spokeswoman Sgt. Jerri Weary answered questions about investigations into the shootings.

When one man in the crowd asked whether Sgt. Weary was being paid to lie for the police department, she engaged in fingerpointing, yelling and crying.

For more than an hour, more than 200 residents listened to people ask questions and give opinions during the meeting. which was hosted by the NAACP.

"We may not be able to answer all your questions tonight," said Valoria Armstrong, president of the local NAACP chapter, "but we want you to have a venue in which your concerns are heard."

Family members of those recently killed by police, including Alonzo Heyward, Alonzo O'Kelley Jr. and Richard LaMark Dunn attended the meeting, speaking and holding signs.

"How could you not come?" asked Mr. Dunn's mother, Christine. "Why should we have to defend who Mark is and why he was shot?"

For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.