NAACP March is about answers as well as protest

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – NCAA March in downtown Chattanooga sought to raise awareness of excessive force cases, but also seeks to find answers to problems.

What started out this morning as a protest of police brutality in downtown Chattanooga, turned into a master plan for recruiting more minorities into law enforcement and opening more lines of communication.

News 12’s Ashley Henderson has the story.

The NAACP march was designed to raise awareness of incidents of excessive force seen in recent arrest videos.

But the goal was also to try to come up with solutions.

The latest video involving a Chattanooga police officer happened almost a year ago.

NAACP President Dr. Elenora Wood  “Anybody that sees this video, that’s sensitive to what’s happening across the country would be angered. And so I’m very angered, but at the same time, I know that it’s very important that while we’re angry, that we also sit down and iron out a solution to this problem.”

Dr. Wood says she discussed with Sheriff Hammond several different ideas they have in dealing with this, from greater minority recruitment, to holding officers accountable when things like this do happen.”

“I’m just really pleased with the relationship that the NAACP has with the Sheriff’s Department, moving forward in our community to make it better. Yes, we have some problems, but we are at the table ironing these problems out.”

Captain Van Hinton, a 30 year veteran of the sheriff’s department, was recently promoted and given the job of increasing minority recruitment. But Hinton says many are discouraged because of previous marijuana use.

Captain Van Hinton of the Sheriff’s Equal Opportunity Office told us “Getting kids to understand that marijuana is not legal, so the majority come in and they admit to smoking marijuana, those type of things, which is very disappointing.”

But Captain Hinton is committed to increasing those recruiting numbers, so that they’re a reflection of the community.

Pastor Olivette Baptist Kevin Adams adds “the community’s been outraged and so we’ve been praying, been involved in strategizing with law enforcement and the community at large, and the NAACP to try to stop some of this, change some structure within the department.”

In Chattanooga, Ashley Henderson, News 12 Now.

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News

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