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CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee -(WDEF) After listening to public complaints about his department, police chief Bobby Dodd looked more like a prize fighter who came out swinging to defend the reputation of the department and to restore trust with the public after two former officers were involved in police brutality.
Long before the infamous video showing two officers beating a suspect went viral on the internet, Dodd had already conducted an internal investigation and fired the two officers involved. He said he even went a step further.
"I brought in the districts attorneys office and asked them to let us submit this to a grand jury to see if it could be prosecuted on the state level. Then I brought in the local office of the FBI to see if there was any civil rights violations," Dodd said.
Dodd said he's the reason why the incident was made public.
"The day that I sat down with the FBI, the agent actually said to me that we never had a chief call in and turn themselves in. He said you know this is going to go public. I said yes it's going public because I'm going to take it public, "Dodd said.
Dodd felt the need to defend the reputation of the department and restore the public trust in the Chattanooga police after a concerned citizens group held a public meeting to discuss alleged incidents of police brutality and how to deal with it. Some people who attended the meeting claimed many incidents are being covered up even if a complaint was filed.
"I assure you there's no complaint that comes into my office or through internal affairs that will not get the respect that it deserves," said the chief.
last year the Chattanooga police investigated more than 200,000 incidents that included everything from murder, rape and robbery to assault, burglary and theft. Internal affairs only needed to get involved with 69 alleged incidents involving officers. Of the 69 complaints, 28 involved an alleged excessive use of force but after a full investigation by internal affairs which also included civilians who were part of the internal affairs panel, only three incidents led to disciplinary action against officers.
Chief Dodd said his department is transparent when it comes to complaints and wants the public to know he has no patience for what was displayed in the video.
"We will not tolerate this for anyone. We don't condone it. We don't tolerate it and I think in this case here that actually started this, I think I've done all that I can possible," Dodd said.
The brutality caught on video involving the two officers who were fired has become such a popular topic that police administrators tell WDEF they have been taking both national and international phone calls about what happened.