Chattanooga pastors call for Sheriff Jim Hammond's resignation
Thirty church leaders gathered in front of Sheriff Jim Hammond’s office door on Monday morning.
Reverend Timothy Careathers spoke on behalf of the group and says, “Your time is up Sheriff Hammond. We will not live in fear of you.”
That’s when he asked for Hammond’s resignation letter.
“Your resignation needs to be immediate, and swift. You have proven that you endorse the violent, and racist conduct,” said Timothy Careathers.
Careathers addressed the most recent accusation of the use of excessive force from two Hamilton County deputies.
He questions Hammond’s actions of not firing the deputies.
“Beating a handcuffed man is that illegal, unethical or immoral,” said Careathers. “Is stripping a man’s pants from him on the side of the road is that illegal? Is that ethical? Is that immoral?”
Moments after the statement from the pastors, Sheriff Hammond responded.
He says he has no plans of stepping down.
“Of course I’m a little bit saddened because so quickly we can change our feelings of who our sheriff is,” said Sheriff Jim Hammond. “I understand that that comes with the territory. I do believe that the overwhelming take away from this is we need to let the process work.”
Hammond says right now the District Attorney is allowing the TBI and possibly the Department of Justice to sort through this evidence.
Until then, those deputies who were involved will remain on paid administrative leave as the investigation process continues.
“We live in a day, and age where video controls a lot of our lives,” said Hammond. “Video can be good, and it can be bad. It can show the truth, and it can show untruth.”
Sheriff Jim Hammond says there is a huge need for diversity not only in his force but at several other forces across the country.
He says they will continue trying to recruit more minorities to represent the demographics of Hamilton County.