UPDATE: Chattanooga City Council, police chief meet to discuss department policy
It was standing room only on Tuesday at a meeting between the Chattanooga City Council and Chattanooga Police Chief David Roddy.
The meeting was held to discuss police department policy.
It stems from an incident that was caught on camera. The video shows Officer Benjamin Piazza punching Fredrico Wolfe during a traffic stop in March of last year.
The video was recently released by Wolfe’s attorney.
At one point during the meeting, Chief Roddy told council members, “fault is recognized and change is needed.”
The case that sparked the meeting was not addressed specifically.
The meeting focused on explaining how an internal investigation is conducted now and what can be done to improve the process, and how long the process can take.
Chief Roddy says one change already in the works is adding a sergeant whose sole job will be to review all body camera footage connected to a use of force report, as well as review all video connected with department vehicle pursuits. He said this should help speed up the internal investigation process.
There is also an administrative review committee that looks at internal cases, a unique feature for the department. The committee is made up of the police chief, assistant police chief, three CPD officers, and three community members. Chief Roddy and council members want to look at ways to get the community involved in the process, instead of having the same members on the board for an extended period of time.
"So, let's figure out what those future appointments look like. One consideration is if the council would be receptive if you would like to do a district representation. Where each member of council presents a representative from your district, increase representation," suggested Chief Roddy.
Some council members said they are happy these discussions are happening and view it as a step in the right direction.
"I'm encouraged by what I’m seeing here today. I'm encouraged by the conversation,” Councilman Darrin Ledford. “I'm encouraged by the passion and the dedication by everybody at this table and everybody in this community."
"I appreciate the value you actually put in to sell us on it,” Councilman Demetrus Coonrod said. “But, I have to be honest with you, I kind of feel like that's just done to pacify the council, and we've had enough of that."
There will be another meeting between the police chief and council members. That date and time has not been decided yet.
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