Murder In Downtown Chattanooga

  • Saturday, September 30, 2023
A father and prominent Chattanoogan has been taken from his family and the ones who knew and loved him. It is just tragic. It is simply heartbreaking. A waste.

Arch Trimble’s opinion is correct. Yes, there is lack of leadership at the Chattanooga Police Department. Or perhaps there are inappropriate priorities enabling the escalating level of violent crime in Chattanooga. The truth is this: Chattanooga, at least in many parts, is not safe.

The murder in question, in the presence of witnesses and under video surveillance, is emblematic of the Kelly Administration's failed policing philosophy. It is also a failure of the judicial system. Maybe our hard-working and dedicated policewomen and policemen should not be practicing “community policing” or whatever it’s being called. Maybe the police should be supported to crack down on criminals instead of trying to change their behavior. It’s now obvious that the millions of dollars being spent to produce “violence interruption” among those “at highest risk of being involved in gun violence” have been wasted. (The words in quotation marks are taken directly from the Kelley Administration’s American Rescue Plan web page.) It’s also now apparent that the career criminal who committed this crime, with a long history of violent acts on his resume, should not have been on the streets.

Ever since Mayors Kinsey and Corker, three successive liberals have been elected to lead the city — just as the crime problem has only gotten worse. The problem with crime in Chattanooga lies in the Mayor’s office, and it is and has been predictable. Kelly should be judged by his choice for police chief and the policies (which must align with Kelly’s) she has put in place. Regardless of how he made his decision to hire her, it’s clear that she is failing at her job — despite Kelly’s support in his letter to the city following Thursday’s public assassination.

Both the police chief and the mayor need to be held accountable. Like Mr. Trimble wrote, changes need to be made. We need new leadership in the police department and new thinking in the mayor’s office.

It’s a good thing the city was ranked by Southern Living Magazine as the best place in the South to retire before Thursday night’s events. I am not sure our city really deserves it.

Morgan Smith

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