Two lives of a murder victim

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) – While Chattanooga police continue to investigate the city’s latest homicide, there has been a lot of outrage and criticism directed toward the CPD after the victim was labeled a gang member.

Many News 12 viewers and social media followers have left messages on Facebook that described Kevin Albert as a good kid who had a promising future; a future that had nothing to do with being in a gang.

Kevin Albert was only 19 when his body was found in the 3100 block of Rosemont Drive.

According to police, Albert was shot multiple times.

During the course of their investigation, police identified Albert as a gang member who had been validated as such. CPD investigators are still trying to determine if his death is related to recent gang shootings that are also still under investigation.

During a press conference, a reporter asked Police Chief Fred Fletcher if investigators knew which gang Albert was a part of.

"I have information that it was the Rolling 40’s, but those are things that are fluid in an open investigation," Fletcher said.

The Rolling 40’s is a division of the Crips gang.

In response to that statement, Albert supporters took to social media and claimed Albert was not a gang member. One person posted his high school graduation picture and several people explained that Albert was in college trying to get an education.

Albert may have been a college student in search for a better life, but police have information that also illustrates another life Albert was living.

"He was a validated gang member so he is in that group. Aside from that, we don’t have any intelligence that he was directly involved in specific violence. That is based on his behavior, choices and actions. He was identified as someone who was at risk of violence," Fletcher said.

When News 12 took a look at Albert’s Facebook page, he had numerous posted pictures of him throwing up a Rolling 40’s gang sign. At the same time, he also had pictures that illustrated a life of positive personal accomplishment. News 12 has also learned that Albert had what has been described as a gang page on Facebook. According to law enforcement, that page was deleted.

Chattanooga police can’t discuss how they get their information on gang member validations for fear that it could compromise ongoing investigations. But Chief Fletcher will admit that being in a gang is no excuse to justify murdered.

"Whether the victim was in a gang or not, A loss to this community is a loss to all of us. Everybody has value and we will pursue this wherever the leads take us for however long they take us," Fletcher said.

News 12 reached out to a couple of people who made comments on social media to protest Albert being labeled as a gang member. The idea was to offer them a chance to explain why they believe Albert wasn’t involved with gangs. No one accepted the offer.

Categories: Crime, Local News

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