Chattanooga police officer suspended without pay for improper use of force, other charges after internal investigation

Chattanooga police officer suspended without pay for improper use of force, other charges after internal investigation

February 22nd, 2019 by Rosana Hughes in Local Regional News

The main lobby at the Chattanooga Police Services Center is shown in this 2016 staff file photo.

Photo by Staff File Photo /Times Free Press.

One more Chattanooga police officer has been suspended without pay recently after an internal affairs investigation sustained a number of allegations against him, including improper use of force.

Officer Caleb Corbin, who has been with the department for one year, was suspended on Feb. 15 for 150 hours.

In addition to the improper use of force allegation, the investigation also found he did not properly activate his body-worn camera, violated vehicle pursuit policy and filed false reports.

The investigation also sustained a citizen's complaint of unsatisfactory conduct.

Corbin could not be reached for comment Friday evening.

Until internal files are released, it's not clear exactly what Corbin's offenses were. 

In the meantime, department policy sheds some light on a few of the allegations.

For example, Chattanooga police officers are authorized to use "only the minimal amount of force" reasonably necessary to protect themselves or others, make an arrest, or maintain control of an arrested person.

"Under no circumstances shall the force used be greater than necessary to achieve lawful objectives," department policy states.

Additionally, any officer who uses force against a person "must be able to articulate the specific reason(s) for using the force," according to policy.

With vehicle pursuits, policy states officers are only permitted to initiate a pursuit when there is reasonable suspicion that the suspect has committed or is committing a violent felony.

Violent felonies include murder, manslaughter, aggravated assault, armed robbery, rape, aggravated kidnapping, child sexual assaults and aggravated arson. 

"Officers shall not initiate or become involved in pursuits for traffic offenses, misdemeanors, non-forcible felonies or when the suspect flees for an unknown reason," department policy states.

Corbin is the sixth officer known to have been disciplined in 2019

» On Jan. 18, officer Daniel Mitchum was terminated following an internal investigation after he was involved in a crash near Exit 4 on Interstate 75 while driving a patrol car on Aug. 24.

» On Jan. 31, Sgt. Cameka Bruce was fired after sustained allegations of insubordination and untruthfulness. She was initially investigated over allegations of missing evidence and improper use of overtime. As a result of the investigation, she was offered a last-chance agreement, which puts an officer on notice that future misconduct could result in immediate demotion or termination.

» On Jan. 31, officer Benjamin Dessalines was fired  after allegations of insubordination, cooperation during internal investigation, untruthfulness, improper procedure and criminal offenses were sustained. He had been arrested in November on charges of felony kidnapping and felony sexual battery after a woman alleged he took her home, fondled her and told her he wanted to have sex with her. Criminal investigations are ongoing.

» On Jan. 31, officer Desmond Logan resigned while under investigation for untruthfulness and two counts of improper procedure. He has been under investigation for what the department called "sexual misconduct" after he was accused of raping at least three women since 2015 while on the job. Criminal investigations are ongoing.

» On Feb. 1, officer Ricky Ballard was suspended for 160 hours without pay after an internal investigation found "extensive evidence" of "a pattern of sexual harassment of female cadets."

Contact staff writer Rosana Hughes at rhughes@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6327 with tips or story ideas. Follow her on Twitter @HughesRosana.


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