Police deny "excessive force" claim in College Hill Courts - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Police deny "excessive force" claim in College Hill Courts

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Cell phone video is shown to Channel 3 by a group of people accusing Chattanooga Police officers of going too far.

Despite warnings of "graphic content," the video from October 4th shows just the opposite.

What it does show is a Chattanooga Police officer putting Aaron Mitchell in a patrol car for being at College Hill Courts when he wasn't supposed to be there.

Ash-Lee Henderson with Concerned Citizens for Justice says what didn't make the tape is what bothers her.

"It is really sad because people who look and live like me everyday are having to live in terror."

The group hopes the video helps to begin a conversation about the force officers use.

A local pastor wrote a formal complaint to CPD.

Suspect Aaron Mitchell says the video started rolling right after officers slammed him to the ground.

"This is crazy. I didn't do anything to that man," Mitchell says. "What did I do to that man?"

Mitchell has been arrested nearly a dozen time in the last year for trespassing.

Even during this interview, he is again in violation at College Hill Courts.

He claims he faced more physical abuse while in jail.

"He beat me up. Look at my teeth. He beat me up bad. He beat me up bad. My arm still hurts."

Boyd Patterson, a community liaison, says this incident needs to be used for relationship building, instead of finger pointing.

"The progress Chattanooga needs to make on the scale that it needs to be made on, there has to be trust. As much trust as possible."

The Chattanooga Police Department released this statement Tuesday afternoon:

"The Chattanooga Police Department has been made aware of a recent Youtube video regarding an arrest made in College Hill Courts on October 4, 2012.  After reviewing the video, it appears  that the officers were simply conducting routine police work and acted in a professional manner.  No violations were observed in the video and at this point, no official complaint has been filed.  The Chattanooga Police Department takes all complaints of this manner very seriously and if anyone feels their rights have been violated, they can call either the Office of the Chief of Police or Internal Affairs."

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