Update Dec 10th 6pm

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - Eyewitness News continues its investigation into the tasing death of Edward Buckner, and the officer that tased him shortly before he died.

Channel 3 has filed numerous open records requests with Erlanger Medical Center hoping to learn more about the incident and Officer Shane Webb's background.

Today we received a response to our requests. Erlanger says we will receive the documents within approximately ten days.

We also received a written statement from Erlanger Police Chief Rodney Patton.

We contacted Patton last week when a Channel 3 investigation uncovered Patton's rocky past. Patton is one of three officers we found to be fired from another agency prior to taking a job at Erlanger.

Patton was fired from the Hamilton County Sheriff's office in 2003, for filing false reports. He was commissioned to the Erlanger force in 2004, and again last October.

In response, Patton wrote:

In regards to your news release of officers terminated from local Police agencies, I am neither ashamed nor embarrassed to have been the subject of an internal affairs investigation. In 2003 I fought against a system of pervasive police corruption and if by chance that has earned me the title of being accused of false allegations, then I consider it to be an honor.

In closing my question is when did we become a society where individuals are no longer entitled to a second chance, and have we become such a society where breaking news stories and ratings determine the truth.

Sincerely,

Rodney Patton

Update Dec 4th 6pm

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - A Channel 3 investigation into the tasing incident at Erlanger takes another twist today.

That tasing has landed a security guard in the middle of a TBI investigation.

Today Channel Three Eyewitness News Reporter Callie Starnes learned Officer Shane Webb is not the only Erlanger officer with a rocky past.

A resolution was passed by City Council members in October, commissioning a list of 25 Erlanger officers.

It's the only commission on record this year.

We did some digging and learned many of the names on that list are previous city or county officers, but three were fired from local agencies.

It starts at the top. The Erlanger Police Chief was fired from the Sheriff's Office.

City documents show Chief Rodney Patton was commissioned in 2004 and again last October.

We confirmed with county officials today, Patton joined the Sheriff's office as a corrections officer in 1989 and worked his way up to detective, but that's as far as he made it.

He was the subject of several internal affairs investigations including one for false reports that ultimately led to his termination in 2003.

Leigh Taylor Noorbergen was also commissioned to Erlanger in October.

Noorbergen was suspended from the Chattanooga Police force in early March of 2006 for lying to officers during an investigation, filing a false report, and making an improper arrest.

Chattanooga City Council denied her appeal in May of 2006 before commissioning her to the Erlanger Police force last October.

The third is Shane Webb, the officer who pulled the trigger tasing Edward Buckner last week. As Eyewitness News has reported, Webb has been under investigation before.

Webb was fired from the Chattanooga Police force for his part is a 2005 beating assault caught on tape. The incident involved the use of a taser.

According to city documents, last September Webb was certified to use his taser once again and on October Sixth was commissioned by City Council to join the Erlanger police force.

We wanted to know how many other city-commissioned Erlanger officers were once terminated or investigated under other agencies.

We filed a state open records request to get Erlanger officials to answer our questions.

By law, Erlanger has seven days to respond.

We also attempted to contact Chief Patton and Officer Noorbergen today by phone, we were unable to reach them for comment.

Update Dec 3rd 6pm

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - Leaving the cemetery today, those closest to Edward Buckner wouldn't go on camera at their attorney's request but they did say all they want is justice.

Buckner died after being tased by an Erlanger security guard.

While the medical examiner still doesn't know if the shock led to Bucker's death, officer Shane Webb is under investigation and it's not the first time.

Webb was fired from the Chattanooga Police force for his part is a 2005 beating assault caught on tape. The incident involved the use of a taser.

According to city documents, last September Webb was certified to use his taser once again. Then, on October 6th he was commissioned by City Council to join the Erlanger Police force.

"It comes to us and it seems like ours is superficial," said Council Chairman Jack Benson, "we don't get deeply involved in checking the background."

City Council members say the commissioning process is purely a rubber stamp.

The county handles the background check, and it's up to Erlanger to hire and fire officers.

We wanted to know if returning council members took note of Webb's name when they voted on the resolution commissioning he and 24 other named officers.

"No," admitted Benson, "I didn't give it that thought, and there was only one other council person that was still here and I don't think she did either."

Benson says while Webb's commissioning didn't raise any eyebrows, he says Edward Buckner's death has and it has city leaders taking a harder look at the commissioning process.

"We need to look at the entire process," said Benson, "and look at to what degree we are responsible if we commission them to carry a gun."

Eyewitness News attempted to contact Shane Webb for his side of the story, but were unable to reach him.

Update Dec 2nd 5pm

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - Erlanger officials have identified their officer involved in the fatal tasing incident of a Moccasin Bend patient. He has been identified as Officer Shane Webb.

In 2005, Channel 3 Eyewitness News reported when Webb was fired from the Chattanooga Police Department after being involved an incident of excessive force. Webb was among the officers who cornered suspects in a chase that ended at a convenience store parking lot on East Main Street.

The beating of  Jason McCollum and Matthew Jones was caught on surveillance tape.

Webb and another officer later were dismissed from the force. Two other officers were suspended for their part in the incident.

Webb was terminated by the Chattanooga City Council from CPD on Feb 11, 2005.

He was commissioned as an Erlanger Police Officer by City Council on Oct 6, 2009.
 
Channel 3 Eyewitness News has also confirmed that Erlanger officials contacted the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to look into the incident. A spokesperson for TBI tells us they were contacted "earlier this week."

Update Dec 1st

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - As the Hamilton County Medical Examiner works to determine what killed Edward Buckner, Erlanger administrators remain tight-lipped.

The 53 year-old died Friday after being tased by Erlanger security guards who say Buckner was combative.

We wanted to know how many times Buckner was stunned, if the officers are still on the job, and what the hospital's protocol is for using taser guns.

Monday our questions went unanswered. Instead we were referred to a written statement, saying the hospital would not comment during an on-going investigation.

Today we were told no information would be released.

We did some digging and learned Erlanger officers are commissioned by the city of Chattanooga.

"They hire them, they pay them, they train them," said City Attorney Mike McMahan, "it's a convenient relationship so they can enforce the city laws and we don't have to have a officer sitting over there in the lobby of Erlanger."

McMahan says the city charter allows City Council to issue special commissions that allow Erlanger officers to enforce city ordinances and carry a weapon on Erlanger grounds, but the City does not employee or train the officers. Erlanger security its own department, with its own protocol.

"If they've committed a crime or done something improper it's Erlanger's responsibility to issue the discipline," said McMahan.

While Erlanger has the power to hire or fire security guards, the charter does allow council to revoke an officer's commission. An action council members say they aren't opposed to, pending the outcome of the investigation.

"If we thought there was somebody that really didn't need to be out there with a gun," said Councilman Manuel Rico, "I think we would say that's enough."

Update Nov 30th

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - An investigation is underway to determine if a taser is to blame in the death of a Moccasin Bend mental patient.

53 year-old Edward Buckner died Friday after being tased by Erlanger Police.

The Moccasin Bend patient was being treated at Erlanger for dehydration.

Police say Buckner became combative after being released on Friday, causing officers to use force.

Buckner was found unresponsive after being returned to Moccasin Bend. He was taken back to Erlanger and pronounced dead.

Authorities say autopsy results will determine the next step in their investigation.

"I'm not sure where he was tasered and if that has a direct correlation with the death," said Sgt. Jerry Weary, "all that will be determined by the medical examiner."

The medical examiner's office says the report should be available first thing Tuesday morning.

Police say the findings will be key in going forward with the investigation.

Update Nov 28th

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - Chattanooga police have released new information on the death of a man at Erlanger Hospital.

They say 53 year old Edward Buckner was a patient at Moccasin Bend Hospital who developed dehydration due to diabetes. He was transferred to Erlanger Hospital on November 24th. Buckner was treated and discharged from Erlanger sometime around noon.

Investigators say Moccasin Bend sent a van and personnel for transport back to their facility.  Buckner was helped to the van by medical personnel and Moccasin Bend personnel but he became combative and resistant. He refused to get into the van. Erlanger Police officers were summoned to help and Buckner became involved in an altercation with the Erlanger officers and Hamilton County Corrections Officers who were there on the scene on a separate transport.

Police say Buckner was lazed by the officers then placed in the van and taken back to Moccasin Bend. When they arrived at the facility Mr Buckner was found to be unresponsive. Police say he was transported back to Erlanger by EMS where he was pronounced dead.

Chattanooga Police Major Crimes are continuing the investigation and are taking statements from Erlanger Police and Hamilton County Sheriffs Corrections Officers who were involved in the altercation. Buckner has been transported to the Hamilton County Medical Examiners Office to determine the cause of death.

Nov 27th

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - Chattanooga police say they are investigating the death of a 53 year old man at Erlanger Medical Center.

Police spokeswoman Kim Noorbergen says the investigation is in its initial stages and more information will be released as it becomes available.