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Comment about gangs earns Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond praise, flak

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Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond. / Chattanooga Times Free Press. Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond. / Chattanooga Times Free Press.
CHATTANOOGA -

(Times Free Press) - Remarks by Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond at a civic club have sparked debate about how the gang problem should be dealt with and perception of youth caught up in gang activity.

"We need to run them out of town, put them in jail or send them to the funeral home," Hammond told the Brainerd Kiwanis Club on Friday.

Napoleon "Donut" Williams, who was the city's first black detective in 1968, said the sheriff chose his words poorly.

"Jim, bad choice of words by saying that," he said. "This is black-on-black crime. What we are trying to do is change the image of these kids. For him to talk about going to a funeral home, that's murder. We're trying to save them if we can save them."

Read more about this story from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press

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