Concerned Citizens for Justice speak out on police brutality
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- A Chattanooga activist group is speaking out against police brutality. 'Concerned Citizens for Justice' held a forum Saturday afternoon on the topic.
Members say they will not back down when it comes to stopping police brutality.
"This is a conversation people have been wanting to have for a really long and the situation with Adam Tatum, although we wish it never happened, it's a catalyst to really get people talking," says Ash-Lee Henderson.
Henderson helped organize the forum. She says with the recent exposure of the Adam Tatum case, it is important to have open dialogue.
"I hope that families start to receive justice for their relatives who've been martyrs and survivors of police brutality," says Henderson.
"It's extremely important. But what's more important is the community knows they have a way to fight back," says Maxine Cousins.
It is a topic that is extremely important to Cousins. She says her father was killed while in police custody back in 1983.
"The bulk of the people that get treated like that are powerless and hopeless," says Cousins.
"We need something to where people have a voice," says Gloria Griffith.
Griffith is with the Westside Community Association. She says the neighborhood is asking for a civilian police review board so community members have a greater say.
"Our community, we support the policemen, I support them in any way that I can. But when you are wrong and doing wrong, you should be punished for it," says Griffith.
"Now we want to see the next step. What is the thing that we do to make sure this doesn't happen again? What is the thing that we do to make sure that the relationships between communities and police officers start to rebuild and reconcile in ways that are actually concrete and not just saying that this incident is going to be resolved?" says Henderson.
Concerned Citizens for Justice has started a website, chattanoogacopwatch.com.
It is urging residents to use cell phones and video to document actions of any officers they believe are out of line, saying many cases are not prosecuted due to lack of proof.