published Saturday, March 9th, 2013

Chattanooga group seeks ways to end police brutality

Ash-Lee Henderson speaks at a meeting by the Concerned Citizens for Justice Saturday at the Eastdale United Methodist Church.  The meeting was held to discuss community relationships with police in the wake of the videotaped beating of Adam Tatum by Chattanooga police officers.
Ash-Lee Henderson speaks at a meeting by the Concerned Citizens for Justice Saturday at the Eastdale United Methodist Church. The meeting was held to discuss community relationships with police in the wake of the videotaped beating of Adam Tatum by Chattanooga police officers.
Photo by Doug Strickland.

A group of about 50 people searched Saturday for solutions to end what they say is police brutality in Chattanooga.

Concerned Citizens For Justice called a community meeting after release of a video showing two Chattanooga police officers savagely beating a federal halfway house inmate at the Salvation Army in June. The two officers who beat Adam Tatum were fired but are asking an administrative law judge to order they get their jobs back. It’s possible federal authorities may press charges against them.

“We know the best solutions are right here in this room,” said Ash-Lee Henderson, a Concerned Citizens for Justice organizer, who stood at the front of Eastdale Village Community United Methodist Church, 1403 Tunnel Blvd.

Among the ideas suggested were creating a civilian review board for the police department, educating residents about their rights and offering more legal training for police officers. The group encouraged residents to document encounters with police using cellphones and to get badge numbers.

In attendance were Tatum’s family members, City Councilman-elect Moses Freeman and Yusuf Hakeem, candidate in the yet-undecided District 9 council race.

Their next meeting is tentatively set at 3 p.m. April 6 at the same location.

For more on this story read Sunday’s Times Free Press.

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