Demetrus Coonrod, Other Council Members Call For End To Black On Black Crime; Advocate Peaceful Protest, Not Violence

Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Demetrus Coonrod
Demetrus Coonrod

City Councilwoman Demetrus Coonrod on Tuesday night made an impassioned plea for an end to black on black crime.

She did so after a recent Chattanooga murder left her granddaughter without a father.

Councilwoman Coonrod spoke strongly in favor of protests against police brutality, but said there was no place for violence or destruction as part of that movement.

Other black council members, including Anthony Byrd, Erskine Oglesby and Russell Gilbert, made similar statements.

Councilman Byrd said he was friends with the family of Kahlil Strickland, who was gunned down on Sunday night.

Here is the statement of Councilwoman Coonrod:

"I just want to publicly thank Chief Roddy for taking a public stance against the injustices that's happening across our world. Very appreciative of that.  And also I want to thank the police officers last night that took a knee last night with the protesters; Jerri Sutton, Vaughn and so many others. Thank you so much for being in solidarity. The look on their face, the tears in their eyes told me that they want to work with the community to find some kind of solution and resolve to what's going on in our world today. 

"And I have to most definitely agree 100 percent with Chief Roddy's statement that if any police officer or anybody, you know, didn't see a issue with that video as they watched it, I don't know if you all watched the video or not, but I got to agree with his statement - turn your badge in, turn it in, because those behaviors are just not acceptable in 2020.

"We are supposed to be 'Nooga Strong, as in a verb... action ... and we're supposed to be much better than what I am seeing things being displayed in our city over the past week with different protests and everything. We are actually leaning toward more division, and we just can't take that right now.  We don't need anymore division, we need to be together and united.

"But I also have to say this, that we all - and I got a little pushback early on once I got elected, and I'm cool with the pushback, but I've got to be honest - is that we are losing too many black men and women due to violence from our own people, from black people.  And just like I go hard to make sure that accountability is held on our police department, I am going to do the exact same thing when it comes to us displaying these same behaviors. 

"Sometimes that's a harsh reality and we don't want to talk about it in the black community, but we've got to start talking about it because we've got too many families hurting, we've got too many people that's left without their dad, and specifically I've got a four-year-old that's left without her father from a senseless act of violence.  And not just because of Peyton), but it's so many other parents that's waiting on justice to be served because their child was gunned down by the hands of somebody that looks like us - it's just not acceptable.

"And we need more people speaking up about it - we can no longer sweep it up under the rug just like we can't continue to put the racial systemic issues under the rug.  We've got to talk about it.  Because we can't continue to lose people on our watch.  The community is looking for us to lead and that's what we need to do. 

"So my call to action for everybody is that we need to hold every act of violence accountable. I don't care if you're black or white.  Every act.  This is serious, people, it's not a game. We are losing too many of us.  Now I know I'm going to get some backlash, but today ain't your day - it ain't about you.  All that whoohah, I don't want to hear that.  Because if you think that in 2020 that it's acceptable for black people to kill each other, I need you to pull up.  I need you to pull up so that we can have a conversation.  I keep an open door policy. 

"This behavior is getting out of hand.  I am tired of it.  Every day we get an email from the police department where somebody black has shot somebody black or killed somebody black.  It's not acceptable. Enough is enough.

"If I'm going to stand up and protest against white police officers that are killing black people or displaying any acts of police brutality, I'm going to take that stand against black people killing black people the same. 

"Now for me personally, whenever the person is brought to justice, that killed my granddaughter's father, you can expect for me to be at every court hearing.  You can expect for me to be at every parole board, because he did not deserve it and she does not deserve to be at (age) four having to ask questions, having sleepless nights because she just don't know.  And I should not be having to be thinking about how I'm going to communicate to a four-year-old what happened to her dad.  There is not enough ice cream in the world that can soothe this problem. 

"We've got a problem within our own culture, and it needs to stop. I need men standing up having a conversation with your young boys, your women, girls, all of that.  We need to take a stand together.  I need my white colleagues and friends, I need you to start speaking to the things that's going on in society right now today.  When you see racist acts taking place, you need to call it what it is right there.  When you see injustices happening, you need to call it what it is right there.  Because it's going to take all of us - black people, white people, Hispanics - to make a difference. 

"All of the people that's out here protesting, we need you voting. That's how you effectively make change. Not saying 'F 12' because we need our police officers. We need them.  They're here to serve and protect us.  There may be some bad apples that's along the way, but take a look at what's going on in our own community, our own culture. We got to be honest with each other.

"And you know, I just ask everybody, like I said, during this time it's critical, it's urgent, where people are protesting -  it's babies out there that's protesting.  They're going to jail, they're messing up their background because a lot of them are misinformed. We cannot continue to allow this to happen.  We just can't.  We have to lead them in the right direction and show them how to effectively make change. And effectively making change means voting and creating legislation that's going to change the laws and change the direction that our country is headed into.

"I never dreamed of a day that I would be living in these times that my grandma spoke about.  Never.  But if we don't unite on one thing, we need to unite on this.  Thank you."

You can hear the entire conversation beginning at 24:24 and continuing through the end of the meeting here.

Funeral Service To Be Held Later For Signal Mountain Man Whose Body Was Found By Hiker; David Hunter Was Talented Artist

Upcoming City Council Agenda For Tuesday

Jackie Reeves Arrested In Vehicle Thefts After Trying To Sell One On His Facebook Page

Funeral services will be held later for 27-year-old David Preston McKay Hunter, who had been missing and whose body was found by a hiker in a wooded area of Signal Mountain on Wednesday. A ... (click for more)

Here is the upcoming City Council agenda for Tuesday: I. Call to Order by Chairman Henderson. II. Pledge of Allegiance/Invocation (Councilwoman Coonrod). III. Special Presentation. ... (click for more)

A man who allegedly stole two vehicles and damaged over a dozen more is now in custody. Property located at 1406 E. 51st St. was damage late on June 13 with the gate lock cut and two vehicle ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Upcoming City Council Agenda For Tuesday

Here is the upcoming City Council agenda for Tuesday: I. Call to Order by Chairman Henderson. II. Pledge of Allegiance/Invocation (Councilwoman Coonrod). III. Special Presentation. IV. Minute Approval. Order of Business for City Council V. Ordinances – Final Reading: (None) VI. Ordinances – First Reading: (None) VII. Resolutions: ... (click for more)

Jackie Reeves Arrested In Vehicle Thefts After Trying To Sell One On His Facebook Page

A man who allegedly stole two vehicles and damaged over a dozen more is now in custody. Property located at 1406 E. 51st St. was damage late on June 13 with the gate lock cut and two vehicle stolen. Those two vehicles were a 1998 Green Mercedes Benz S550 and a 2016 Blue Volkwagen Jetta. In addition to this, police said a silver 2008 Cadillac SRX and a white 2010 Jaguar ... (click for more)


In A Time Of Crisis, Why Commemorate The Fourth Of July?

This weekend, we will commemorate the 244 th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Admittedly, we will celebrate with less exuberance than previous years, but celebrations will occur across the land and flags will be flying high. It has been a difficult year. While that may seem like an understatement for a year punctuated with tornadoes, a pandemic, political and social ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Erlanger's Poor Staffing Situation

I have never heard of a CRRT but when I found out that such an intensive care machine is used to facilitate a “continuous renal replacement therapy,” I was actually scared that some poor soul in the throes of acute kidney failure at Chattanooga’s Erlanger Hospital could die. Granted, kidney failure in a critically ill patient is a terrible thing but when one nurse is charged with ... (click for more)


Chattanooga FC Vs. Georgia Revolution Match To Be Broadcast Live On CW Television Network

Chattanooga Football Club is pleased to announce that supporters across the tristate area will be able to watch the first match of the NISA Independent Cup live on local television- a first in Chattanooga FC history. Supporters were thrilled yesterday to learn that Chattanooga’s Football Club will return to play Saturday, July 11 th , 8:00 against Georgia Revolution in the first ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Women's Golf Sets Tee Times For Tuesday's Team Play