March Saturday Should Honor Unarmed Victims

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I hope that people realize that there can never be a winning outcome for the family of Trayvon Martin.  The not guilty verdict only added to their deep and unending pain.  When there is a march on Saturday, I would also hope that they include the memories of all of those numerous unarmed Trayvon Martins (by other names) that have been murdered by police officers in Chattanooga. 

When the family and friends of Leslie Vaughn Prater marched almost 10 years ago, we had no participation or support from the Chattanooga chapter of the NAACP.  The organization was silent.  In fact, the NAACP local president, at that time, attempted to silence us.  Her focus appeared to be more on hosting banquets, fashion shows, and organizing essay contests, which is why the membership probably declined. 

There was no accountability for those officers in our case.  They were rewarded with a week off with pay (an extra vacation for them) and returned to their jobs, even months before the internal affairs investigation was reported to be completed.    

I am glad to see that there is new local NAACP leadership in place that is sounding a call to action on social justice issues. I suggest that the group joins the Concerned Citizens for Justice on dealing with these matters.  I would also hope that Mayor Berke and Chief Dodd will publicly stand together and commit to a zero tolerance policy of police brutality in Chattanooga, and that the policy would include consequences of dismissal for violators.

Dr. Loretta P. Prater
Mother of unarmed homicide victim Leslie Vaughn Prater


Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more on issues than personal attacks. (click for more)

A New Way To Stop The Poverty Education Cycle

For more years then proud to talk I have watched, sometimes up close and very personal, the plight and future of so many kids.  Mostly black and a few others this group was destined not to greatness or success, but to a life of food stamps, welfare, poor education and poorer still educational prospects.  So often in my own work I would see and feel the excitement of the ... (click for more)

Additions And Improvements At Camp Jordan Arena Coming Soon

Additions and improvements are coming to Camp Jordan Arena in the near future. At the Thursday night meeting of the East Ridge city council, approval was given for buying new playground equipment. It will come from Gametime, a locally-based company. The VP of Marketing lives in East Ridge and made a proposal to set up the playground at Camp Jordan so his company could use it for ... (click for more)

Tribute Service For Luther Masingill Held At Historic Engel Stadium

It took a place as big as historic Engel Stadium for Chattanooga to say goodbye to their beloved Luther. Hundreds came Thursday afternoon to pay tribute to Luther Masingill who died early Monday morning after a radio career that spanned an amazing 74 years. It was clear from all who spoke that he was considered not only a radio personality, but also a role model. One after ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Claims Region 4A/AA Soccer Title

Junior Sofia Olenchek scored twice, including the winning goal in the second overtime (95th minute) period as host Notre Dame defeated crosstown rival Chattanooga Christian 2-1, for the Region 4 A-AA championship Thursday night. In a well-played, physical match, CCS led at halftime, 1-0,  after senior Hannah Henry scored in the 14th minute, but Olenchek's first goal ... (click for more)

Baylor Beats Briarcrest For Shot At Father Ryan, DII-AA State Volleyball Title

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – OK, Father Ryan.  Baylor’s still hanging around. The Lady Red Raiders stormed past Briarcrest, 3-1, Thursday in the loser’s bracket final at Siegel Middle School and advanced to Friday’s Division II-AA volleyball tournament championship match. The set scores were 26-24, 25-15, 24-26, 25-15. The Lady Red Raiders lost to Father Ryan, ... (click for more)