City Council Backs Mayor's Decision To Appeal Ruling That Officers In Tatum Case Can Go Back To Work

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The City Council on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution backing the decision by Mayor Andy Berke to appeal the decision of an administrative law judge putting two city police officers involved in the Adam Tatum incident back on the force with back pay.

After hearing three days of testimony, Hearing Officer Kim Summers said in a 30-page opinion that the decision by Police Chief Bobby Dodd to fire officers Sean Emery and Adam Cooley should be overturned.

The incident, in which the inmate of a Salvation Army halfway house suffered several injuries, was caught on a video that was widely distributed.

Councilman Moses Freeman said, "We've had a travesty of justice." He said the decision left many in the community "feeling frustrated and disappointed."

He said citizens "are ashamed of their behavior and what they've done to our community."

Councilman Freeman said the actions of the officers and the ruling "give us a bad reputation. It is harming our good name and our brand of Chattanooga."

He added, "It will be a good day when these men will be terminated permanently. We just want to see justice prevail."

A grand jury failed to indict the officers and federal authorities decided not to bring charges.

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