published Thursday, January 29th, 2009

TBI investigating Chattanooga cop’s Wal-Mart conduct

by Adam Crisp

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is looking into the conduct of a suspended Chattanooga police officer after an altercation last month with a Collegedale Wal-Mart greeter.

Officer Kenneth Freeman was placed on a 28-day suspension this week after an investigation showed he shoved and knocked down a 71-year-old Wal-Mart greeter while exiting the store on Christmas Eve.

The greeter told police he was trying to check the officer’s store receipt, but Officer Freeman wouldn’t stop. The greeter said he blacked out after Officer Freeman shoved him.

At the request of Hamilton County District Attorney General Bill Cox, the TBI began investigating the incident on Jan. 12, said TBI spokeswoman Kristin Helm. She wouldn’t provide any more details about the investigation, except to say it was ongoing and the findings would be turned over to Mr. Cox’s office for review.

An internal affairs investigation found Officer Freeman used excessive force. That report states that, after Officer Freeman knocked the greeter to the ground, he stood over the man and yelled, “Never put your hand on me” and “Don't touch me.”

Officer Freeman was on-duty at the time of the incident, the report states. He said he stopped at the Wal-Mart with another officer to buy last-minute Christmas gifts.

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.

about Adam Crisp...

Adam Crisp covers education issues for the Times Free Press. He joined the paper's staff in 2007 and initially covered crime, public safety, courts and general assignment topics. Prior to Chattanooga, Crisp was a crime reporter at the Savannah Morning News and has been a reporter and editor at community newspapers in southeast Georgia. In college, he led his student paper to a first-place general excellence award from the Georgia College Press Association. He earned ...

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obviousman said...

This is simply a peek into how the police, and the 'justice system' views normal citizens. It's sad it took the state to intervene.

January 30, 2009 at 10:10 a.m.
tripencrypt said...

I read about this on consumerist (

I am pleased this incident is being looked into by the TBI. It is ridiculous that Judge Kevin Wilson chose to throw out the complaint against Detective Freeman. Mr. Walker, the 71 year old employee of Wal-Mart, did not deserve to be pushed into a vending machine and then to the ground. Detective Freeman was on duty at the time of the incident and went into Wal-Mart to shop for Christmas gifts. It would seem that those in authority (Judge Wilson and Det. Freeman) think they are more equal than others.

I do not believe that Det. Freeman should loose his job. But as this article notes ( in the last sentence, he has had scuffles before. Please contact the Chief of Police and express your ire. If we citizens do not require better behavior of our public officials, no one else will.

January 30, 2009 at 6:59 p.m.
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