DA Pinkston Calls For Investigation Involving Traffic Stop Of Black Citizen By 2 County Deputies

Friday, July 12, 2019
Sheriff Jim Hammond and District Attorney Neal Pinkston at press conference
Sheriff Jim Hammond and District Attorney Neal Pinkston at press conference

District Attorney Neal Pinkston said at a Friday morning press conference he is calling for an investigation of a traffic stop after viewing dash cam video.

He said, "I was somewhat disturbed by what I saw.  I felt it warranted an immediate investigation."

He said he assigned an investigator from his office to look into the Wednesday evening stop, and he also called the TBI, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office.

DA Pinkston said he also conferred with the legal counsel for Governor Bill Lee.

He said a copy of the video would be made public later today.

DA Pinkston did not give details of the incident, but indicated it involved two sheriff deputies.

Sheriff Jim Hammond said they have been placed on paid administrative leave. 

He said one of the officers had graduated from a predominately black university.

Sheriff Hammond described them as young officers who had been good officers in the past. He said "human nature" sometimes become a factor in such incidents.

A number of black leaders were at the press conference, including City Council members Russell Gilbert and Demetrus Coonrod.

One of the black leaders at the press conference said there was a similar press conference about a year ago, "and you pretty much said the same things then.  That situation still has not been resolved."

Sheriff Hammond said, As sheriff, I want to reiterate to the citizens of Hamilton County that in light of today’s press conference and the video soon to be released, there are two separate investigations in relation to this incident. First, an Internal Affairs Investigation is being conducted that is focused on the facts of the case and the policies and procedures of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office. The second is a criminal review directed by Hamilton County District Attorney Neal Pinkston.

"I am committed to the transparency and accountability of the HCSO and the personnel who serve our community.”


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