Following Nashville's lead, Chattanooga watchdog group renews call for police oversight board

Emily Rowcliffe, Marianne Sanders, Kelly Ann Graff, and Nathan King, from left, chant during a protest outside of EPB headquarters on Martin Luther King, Jr., Boulevard directed towards Sen. Bob Corker's office on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, in Chattanooga, Tenn. Demonstrators from Concerned Citizens for Justice gathered for a "Resist Trump Rally" to protest the inauguration of President Donald Trump and several of his cabinet nominations which Sen. Corker will oversee.

A local watchdog group is renewing its call for a community oversight board that would allow citizens to investigate alleged police misconduct after the city of Nashville recently voted to create such an entity.

"The Chattanooga Police Department is currently allowed to oversee [itself] through Internal Affairs, and [has] consistently failed to discipline or fire its violent ... and dishonest officers who patrol the streets," Concerned Citizens for Justice, an activist group, said in a statement Tuesday. "This is not what democracy looks like. Community members, especially those directly impacted by police violence and misconduct, must be directly involved in the process of holding police accountable."

The group's announcement, a request it has been making for many years, follows last week's successful grassroots effort by black activists in Nashville to establish an 11-person oversight board that has the authority to investigate alleged officer misconduct with subpoenas and to help mediate conflicts and recommend punishments.