The Whole Story Of The Police Video - And Response

Friday, March 1, 2013

Re:  Police Video with Adam Tatum

It is sad that things like this happens. In the heat and high emotions things can escalate out of hand very quickly. The video sheds light on the arrest and on the TFP story. Of course the paper will paint the worse picture they can.  

I would encourage people to view the video from the beginning. It seems the officers came into the area and gave a man time to try to cool the man down. Then the officers apparently told him he was under arrest and as happens there are those that can't go peacefully.

They moved out of view and then we see Tatum get loose and run into another room and the officers go after him and bring him back into view. As the struggle continues things quickly get out of hand and the officers exceed the force necessary. This should never happen, but some time it does. 

How would most people react in a situation like this? Had this been me and the officer placed me under arrest and told me to put my hands behind me, I would have obeyed the instructions, been handcuffed and gone to jail without any confrontation. I have been stopped by officers over the years and never would I get in their face as some I have seen. I treated the officers with respect and I was always treated the same. Some times I got a citation and some times they gave me a warning. 

What could have been done to keep this tragedy from happening? One thing was to follow instructions, go to jail and get out on bond. Apparently his attorney believes it is permissible to resist arrest. From my perspective it started when Tatum resisted arrest which is a violation of the law. 

The CTFP, as is their usually slanted story, failed to start from the beginning when the officers arrived. It would have been hard to write their story if they had. It was made to depict their view of what happened. Here lately this seems to be a regular occurrence in the media, cell calls edited, even one by the First Lady. 

My whole point is like Sgt. Friday on Dragnet would say, "Just all the facts, just all the facts." 

N.D. Kennedy Sr.

* * *

What police state do you believe we live in? I did watch the entire video, per your suggestion. This victim was non-violent toward a pair of tag-team brutes who way-laid him totally out of proportion to the need. They felt his transgression deserved two broken legs, six bone fractures, one compound? Please....

Police Chief Dodd found the same video (you advocate as perfectly acceptable behavior) definitive proof of excessive force with 48+ billy-club blows, an unapproved and very dangerous choke hold, then kicking the man while lying on the ground handcuffed. Although fired by Chief Dodd (and I sincerely compliment and appreciate his decision), why the Grand Jury failed to indict them is beyond my grasp. Now, Chattanooga is under national scrutiny as federal investigators determine whether Mr. Tatum's civil rights were violated. They most certainly were.

This video is already viral and in no conceivable way could shed favorable light on this situation or this city. Chattanooga will be under a pessimistic national microscope all the way through the civil trial of Mr. Tatum's $50,000,000 lawsuit. That's seven zeroes, Mr. Kennedy, that Chattanooga taxpayers will have to cough up. Anyone interested in a used Blue Rhino?

This is worse than the Rodney King incident, and I'd wager the toll on LA tourism was heavy and unrecoverable. If Red Bank is yanking their stop-light cameras because people avoid Red Bank as a result of them, imagine what this will do to travelers coming to or through Chattanooga. "Honey, let's not stay in Chattanooga. That place scares me." This surveillance video spotlights unacceptable behavior which denigrates all Chattanoogans. The Chattanooga Police Department is now actively distancing themselves from these two vigilantes, and rightly so.

The video you so adamantly support, Mr. Kennedy, vividly illustrates what most might consider to be diminished problem-solving abilities, inadequate judgment, ruthless tendencies and an obvious ("You mean we were on Candid Camera?") disconnection from reality. Just because Littlefield hasn't given the department the pay raises (the rest of the force) deserves, this is not tacit approval for a 10-minute-long "full breach assault" on a human being one-half either officer's mass.

I think a new genus/species requires development, with a branch extended from homo sapiens, entitled homo sapiens brutale.

It's official, they are fired. But I know in my heart what the rest of the force is really thinking: "Those two have shot Chattanooga in the foot. We won't see another raise for years!" And they are probably right.

David Fihn, Sr.

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