UPDATE: Former CPD Chief says "sorry about the Erlanger ER incident"
By Callie Starnes & WRCB Staff
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - The Chattanooga Police Department tells Eyewitness News it has placed the officer accused of barring a couple from entering the Erlanger Medical Center emergency room on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.
On Tuesday morning, retired Chattanooga Police Chief Freeman Cooper told Channel 3 he's "sorry about Erlanger ER incident". While the incident did not happen on his watch, Cooper felt like an apology for CPD's handling of the incident was appropriate.
Officer James Daves is on paid administrative leave pending an Internal Affairs investigation of the incident that occurred at Erlanger Medical Center involving Eric "Jesse" Wright and Aline Wright.
This is not the first incident that has led to an investigation for Officer James Daves. Channel 3 Eyewitness News has confirmed that Officer Daves had been suspended without pay in September 2008. His suspension lasted for five days.
Aline Wright told WRCB Officer Daves blocked the entrance to the emergency room at Erlanger Medical Center after her husband Eric "Jesse" Wright ran a red light while attempting to get her to the emergency room. Aline, a cancer survivor, was showing symptoms of having a stroke at the time she was rushed to the hospital.
A warrant was issued for Jesse, and he was subsequently arrested two days later.
The Chattanooga Police Department tells Channel 3 Eyewitness News that because an Internal Affairs investigation has been launched into this incident, they will not make any further comments about the case.
Eyewitness News has filed an open records request with the City of Chattanooga for information pertaining to Daves' first administrative leave.
Eyewitness News attempted to contact Daves on Monday. Our e-mails and calls were not returned.
Instead we received an e-mail from Lt. Kim Noorbergen, spokesperson for the Chattanooga Police Department.
"Officer Daves respectfully request you do not attempt to contact him again regarding the IA investigation," wrote Noorbergen. "Under policy, he would not be permitted to talk with any media regarding the investigation."