Voters in Hamilton County need to understand how important the race for district attorney is. Coty Wamp proudly proclaims that she "backs the blue." Well, I'm a Republican. I have 13 years experience as a police dispatcher and a communications supervisor. I doubt there is anyone who appreciates, supports and respects our law enforcement more than I do. But on rare occasions where an officer gets out of line, who is going to hold that officer accountable? Coty Wamp?
She says she "backs the blue" all the way. It's on all of her signs and she says it often. She said she will get rid of the "excessive force hotline" set up by current district attorney Neal Pinkston. Do you want to know why Pinkston set up that hotline. Get on YouTube and search for "Hamilton County deputies clubbing Reginald Arrington." I haven't seen Pinkston advertise that hotline since that happened, but it needs to remain in place.
Then there's another famous county deputy. He has many, many cases pending in court, so I won't mention his name. But, you can find the videos if you get on YouTube and search for "Deputy Baptizes Woman." It certainly put Hamilton County on the map (nationwide), but not in a good way. Sheriff Hammond apparently did not like Pinkston for bringing these embarrassing incidents to the public's attention. During the investigation that followed, Pinkston charged that Hammond and his staff were intentionally making it difficult to obtain the videos. Hammond told a local TV station that he and Pinkston "were at war." Later, Hammond announced that his servers had a malfunction that resulted in a catastrophic loss of dash cam footage and other video evidence. You can Google all of this.
Hammond is so irritated with Pinkston that he hired former Congressman Zach Wamp's daughter, Coty, to be his department's "legal counsel." Fast forward several months and she decides to run for Pinkston's job. What are the odds? Hammond and Coty Wamp apparently see eye-to-eye on law enforcement issues. On a recent podcast with Jeff Styles called "Chattanooga Drive-In Show," Coty Wamp comes to the "baptism" deputy's defense. Seriously. Look it up.
Coty Wamp brags that she has the endorsement of two police unions. Endorsements have never mattered to me, but did you know that both unions endorsed her, knowing that she is under an active investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) for possibly interfering with an investigation of a shooting in Soddy Daisy? You can Google that one too. You would think police unions would want to know if the TBI found anything wrong with Coty's actions in that case before endorsing her, right? Nope. They want a powerful ally in the DA's office.
This is an excerpt from an interview while Ms. Wamp was a Hamilton County public defender:
"I’ve always been drawn to people who don’t have a voice but need one,’’ she says. She held on to this aspiration through her years at the UT College of Law. Upon graduating, she was certain of one thing: she didn’t want to prosecute. "I’m defense-minded to the core,” she sids. “Some of the attorneys in this office have prosecuted, but I’m not one who could easily jump over. I love the underdog. I’d rather advocate for someone than be the person who’s sending them to prison.”
It goes without saying that the District Attorney is a prosecutor. Therefore, the last person you want is someone who is "defense-minded to the core". Not only does Ms. Wamp not have a heart to prosecute but she has no experience.
Neal Pinkston has been a very successful district attorney for Hamilton County, and in so doing, he has made some powerful enemies. Let's not forget Commissioner Tim Boyd, who has attacked Pinkston for two years. You know why? Because Pinkston prosecuted Boyd for extortion in an East Ridge election scandal. Boyd got off with a hung jury, and has attacked Pinkston ever since, just like Hammond. Of course, the media is always there when Boyd spouts off an attack. It's an easy soundbite, and it's also lazy journalism.
We need Neal Pinkston to keep law and order, for everyone. He and his staff are big supporters of law enforcement. More importantly, they are for truth and justice for everyone. He and his staff back the blue too and they work with police officers on a daily basis. But if another officer goes rogue, you want Neal Pinkston, not Coty Wamp, as district attorney for the next eight years. She will set this county back 30 years in race relations.
Please vote for Neal Pinkston for District Attorney in the May 3rd Republican Primary.