CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) - The NAACP officially kicked off "Moral Week" in Tennessee and one of the biggest topics during a morning press conference was how to prevent Chattanooga from becoming Ferguson Missouri.
On the steps of Chattanooga city hall, members of the local NAACP held a press conference to address several issues affecting African Americans. Several members didn't hold back about the ongoing conflict between white police officers and African Americans residents in Ferguson Missouri.
"The NAACP and our allies will not stand down until accountability and justice in cases of police misconduct are served for Michael Brown and the countless men and women who lost their lives to such police discrimination," said Carolyn Tatum of the NAACP
Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher attended the press conference with several of his officers. Long before Fletcher took over the department, CPD was embroiled in controversy surrounding police brutality after surveillance video captured two officers beating a suspect. Now the department is working with the local NAACP to create a strategic response team to prevent another Ferguson Missouri.
"You have to have a team in place with people from all points of the city; black and white to head off crisis before they turn into full scale war," said Joe Rowe of the NAACP.
"We're 100-percent committed to getting officers in situations where they can create positive encounters with the community and build a relationship that forges solutions," said Chief Fletcher.
In addition to talking about ways to prevent another Ferguson Missouri, NAACP members also talked about labor rights, education and criminal justice reform.