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Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond: Black president fuels insecurity

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (Times Free Press) -- Public interest in crime, safety and security has been more intense over the last three years in part because the nation has its first black president, Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond said.

"We may dance around it but a lot of people are fearful of 'Ah, this is gonna ruin our country,'" Hammond said this week during a meeting with Chattanooga Times Free Press editors and reporters. "Fear and uncertainty. Part of it is [the] first black president. I mean, we all see that."

That sentiment doesn't surprise experts at the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that tracks and studies anti-government groups.

"We've seen an incredible rise in the number of anti-government groups in the last four years and sentiment that the country has gone to hell in a handbasket," said Heidi Beirich, director of the center's Intelligence Project.

Read more from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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