UPDATE: After several allegations of excessive force by local law enforcement officers, Hamilton County District Attorney General Neal Pinkston has set up a hotline for citizen complaints.

“We have been made aware of several incidents involving claims that excessive force was used,” said Pinkston. “As the investigations of those incidents proceed, I believe we need to find out if these are isolated incidents, or if there is a systemic problem.”

The DA’s office has received several videos that have prompted investigations of possible use of excessive force by law enforcement officers. 

Dr. Elenora Woods, president of Chattanooga's NAACP chapter, hopes this will bring positive change to Chattanooga. 

"This is really a very good start in the right direction," Woods told Channel 3. 

She says a lot of times victims don't know where to turn. 

"If they know there's a hotline they can immediately get some type of assistance into the matter. So I love it. I absolutely love it," said Woods. 

Woods believes this will hold agencies to a higher standard.

"A lot of this brutality that is going on doesn't even get reported. I think this is an excellent way to track what's happening on the police force and in the sheriff's department," Woods told Channel 3. 

D.A. spokesperson Bruce Garner said in a news release Wednesday that the incidents occurred at traffic stops and other locations where citizens were in police custody. 

“I want to make it clear that we fully support all law enforcement agencies in Hamilton County,” said Pinkston. “We work with them every day and they do an outstanding job keeping us safe. However, if one or two police officers abuses their authority, we will take action against that officer.”

Citizens who believe that they have been the victims of excessive force on the part of law enforcement officers are encouraged to call the district attorney’s hotline at 423-209-7480.

You can also email your complaint.

Pinkston said he will personally review each complaint, with assistance from an assistant district attorney and an investigator in his office.

“It is our responsibility to not only prosecute the guilty, but to protect the innocent,” Pinkston said. “If an officer has abused his or her authority in this county, we want to know about it.”

"I think if there was ever a loss of confidence in the judicial system, this restores some hope," Woods said. 


PREVIOUS STORY: After several incidents of allegations of excessive force by local law enforcement officers, Hamilton County District Attorney General Neal Pinkston has set up a hotline for citizen complaints.

“We have been made aware of several incidents involving claims that excessive force was used,” said Pinkston. “As the investigations of those incidents proceed, I believe we need to find out if these are isolated incidents, or if there is a systemic problem.”

The DA’s office has received several videos that have prompted investigations of possible excessive use of force by law enforcement officers.

Spokesman Bruce Garner said in a news release Wednesday that the incidents occurred at traffic stops and other locations where citizens were in police custody.

“I want to make it clear that we fully support all law enforcement agencies in Hamilton County,” said Pinkston. “We work with them every day and they do an outstanding job keeping us safe. However, if one or two police officers abuses their authority, we will take action against that officer.”

Citizens who believe that they have been the victims of excessive force on the part of law enforcement officers are encouraged to call the district attorney’s hotline at 423-209-7480.

You can also email your complaint to excessiveforce@hcdatn.org. Pinkston said he will personally review each complaint, with assistance from an assistant district attorney and an investigator in his office.

“It is our responsibility to not only prosecute the guilty, but to protect the innocent,” Pinkston said. “If an officer has abused his or her authority in this county, we want to know about it.”