Unity Group of Chattanooga calls for Department of Justice investigation after alleged excessive force by Hamilton County's Sheriff's Office

Unity Group of Chattanooga calls for Department of Justice investigation after alleged excessive force by Hamilton County's Sheriff's Office

July 21st, 2019 by Mark Pace in Breaking News

The Unity Group of Chattanooga is calling for a Department of Justice Civil Rights Division investigation into the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department, claiming deputies racially profiled a black man leading to an alleged illegal roadside body-cavity search.

The group, which was formed in 1969 to select black candidates and help elect them to position within the local government, released a resolution detailing steps needed to ban racial profiling and excessive use of force. Its leaders are also asking for the deputies involved in the incident to be fired. The deputies have been placed on administrative leave.

Document: Unity Group of Chattanooga Resolution

Unity Group of Chattanooga Resolution regarding racial profiling and the use of excessive force

Source: Unity Group of Chattanooga

The resolution asks the Department of Justice to begin an investigation to find whether law enforcement have systematically engaged in discriminatory activities. 

The group also called for a ban on such practices; a publicly available system documenting racial profiling and use of force; training for deputies to learn how to deescalate interactions, maintain space and distance when reasonable; and more. 

A sheriff's office spokesman declined to comment until Monday morning, at the earliest, so personnel could have a chance to review the resolution and consult with department leaders.

The resolution stems from a July 23 incident released on video that showed two white deputies punching, kicking and stripping the pants off of a handcuffed black man who they body-cavity searched on the side of a road.

Some community members called on sheriff Jim Hammond to resign and for a Hamilton County Sheriff's Office oversight board.


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