Roy Exum: Coonrod Shows Stripes

Sunday, July 16, 2017 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

It sure didn’t take long for Demetrus Coonrod, believed to be the only convicted felon ever to be elected to public office in Chattanooga or Hamilton County, to show us her stripes. With people pulling so hard for her to continue her inspiring climb from being a thug, it has taken the beleaguered City Council woman less than 90 days to crash-and-burn, just as her skeptics and a number of justice authorities had predicted.

An 11-minute video, every bit as inflammatory as it is embarrassing, was obtained by the Chattanooga Times Free Press and is now on YouTube. It appeared on Saturday and Coonrod’s arrogance, her shameless demand for elitism, and her sickening “attitude” are vivid throughout this latest gift from our wonderful Queen Karma. Coonrod can’t live this one down – “the camera eye don’t lie.”

My heavens! Warren Buffet, brilliant as the ‘Oracle from Omaha,’ has been telling us for years, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently.” Our Councilwoman didn’t think – she wanted to be sure: the tape is 11:10 minutes long and begs public censure.

You see, Coonrod has rather notoriously defied the law and has “acted out” for years. Once she was sentenced to seven years (84 months) after pleading guilty for armed robbery but 21 months were cut because she was allegedly sexually abuse by a guard, this at the Federal pen in Tallahassee, Fla. Somehow she got her conviction expunged short years later and, when her checkered past was revealed after she won the Council race in April, all of Chattanooga was warmed by her story and her ambition.

Karma, it is said, waits until the timing is exactly right before the “Queen” finally says “Enough!” Understand, in the Karma tribe, there are sayings like, “Be sure your sins will find you out,” and “Arrogance and ignorance go hand in hand.” But the family motto actually comes from the Bible. In the book of Job it reads: “Revenge has its own special taste.”

If you study the tape and do a little research, you’ll watch karma as it is actually being created by Coonrod, her very own self. The police officer behind the chest-mounted camera is a rookie, 24-year-old Tiffany Lentz, just out of the police academy. Her odds against a veteran rabble-rouser like the bullying Coonrod could have been frightening.

But, no, Officer Lentz rises higher to the standard every time Coonrod stoops below it. The officer’s professionalism, polite but firm command of the traffic stop, and proper use of civil manners are thrilling in the very face of Coonrod’s spectacular lack of embarrassment. You can see a veteran officer to the right, riding to further teach Tiffany, was surely dying to get involved but instead swells with glee at the way Lentz was schooling Coonrod.

What you don’t see in the tape are the guys back at the stationhouse, this after Queen Karma wafts through with the reminder “we protect our own.” The worst thing you can ever say to an authority figure is, “Do you know who I am?” Now every one of us who has watched Coonrod try to intimidate and threaten the young white officer with “call (Chief) Fred Fletcher” knows Demetrus just wrote a check the councilwoman can’t begin to cash.

 “I am asking you as a council representative to get in touch with Chief Fletcher,” Coonrod demanded of the police officer in her haughty tone and 24-year-old Tiffany stared her down like an Arnold Palmer putt. “I can’t do that, sorry.”

“Are you sure about that,” the Councilwoman volleyed and Officer Lentz – God bless her – never winced. “Yes, I’m sure.”

Word of Coonrod’s lack of couth quickly zipped around the precincts. It is obvious to all within the Chattanooga Police Department that Coonrod tried to bully the 24-year-old officer and the karma spread fast … so-and-so talks to so-and-so. Wouldn’t you know the normally obscure tape flamed the fires of the news media to cook Coonrod medium-well in just three short weeks after the incident occurred?

It is going to get better. The driver of the car, Anthony Gladden, said he didn’t have his driver’s license (which was correct, he doesn’t even have one) but he told the officer they were coming “from the Council meeting,” never mind it was 1:30 a.m. on June 25 according to the tape’s stamp – a Sunday morning according to the calendar.

Officer Lentz has cited Gladden to appear in City Court next Monday (July 24) and any potential politician should be at the 5 p.m. court appearance – what a great chance to get in front of every news organization in town; don’t worry, they will all be there. Coonrod’s career just got much closer to the microscope.

In just 11 minutes, Coonrod embarrassed herself, her followers, the City Council proper and Chattanooga itself – the national media loves it when a public official flaunts a half-year in arrears on her car tag, over $2,000 in arears on payments of past judgements, yet has the audacity to tell reporters, “Even though I hold elected office, I expect to be treated like all other Chattanoogans.”

Please, had that been the case, when Coonrod couldn’t produce any ID early in the tape, she was allowed to take the wheel from Gladden. Any other Chattanoogan would have been stopped again and cited for driving without a license because Coonrod, after the threats, the intimidation, the insults and the arrogance, would have finally broken the law.

God knows, I would have written her up. I swear it.

What’s more, I am thinking the end to this story is a long way from here.

royexum@aol.com

Demetrus Coonrod
Demetrus Coonrod

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