Police Accountability Report: Episode 79 – LRN.fm
This week, a couple stories that should cause anyone critically thinking to see that those wearing badges aren’t always operating with the best intentions.
Lawsuit filed against city and former Chattanooga officers
A lawsuit seeking $50 million in damages names two former Chattanooga police officers, the city of Chattanooga and Erlanger Health Systems after an inmate sustained a compound fracture and other injuries from a beating by officers.
The 22-page lawsuit filed in mid-January in Hamilton County Circuit Court by Adam Tatum’s attorney, alleges officers “bludgeoned, strangled and battered” his client, causing six fractures to his right leg and two fractures to his left leg.
Robin Flores, who is representing Tatum, says Officers James Smith and Sean Emmer delivered more than 100 blows each to Tatum. Another officer, Adam Cooley, struck Tatum more than 15 times in the face and head, the complaint states.
Tatum was arrested on June 14 at the Salvation Army office on McCallie Avenue after there were reports that he was kicking a door of the office and had a knife.
Flores said Cooley and Emmer along with hospital staff and other officers on scene did nothing to help Tatum once he was injured and in custody. Cooley and Emmer were fired from the department, but have otherwise faced no consequences for their violent actions.
Former Officer Sentenced on Misdemeanor Charges
A German Township police officer and firefighter will have to surrender his peace officer certification after he took a plea agreement.
Robert Oldham was accused of raping a 19-year-old woman on July 14. The alleged incident occurred at a party on Penny Pike.
The victim, who said she had been drinking, said she was being assisted by two juveniles when Oldham took her upstairs and sexually assaulted her, according to the initial report filed by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.
Oldham accepted a plea agreement earlier this month. Under the agreement, the rape charge was dropped and Oldham pleaded guilty to furnishing alcohol to a minor and unlawful restraint, both misdemeanors.
On the providing alcohol to minors charge, Oldham was sentenced to 180 days in jail, which was suspended, 60 days of wearing a monitoring device, two years of probation and a $1,000 fine, $500 of which was suspended.
On the unlawful restraint charge, Oldham was sentenced to 60 days in jail, which was suspended, a $500 fine, $200 of which was suspended, and ordered to surrender his peace officer certification and not to reapply to be a German Township police officer…but what has been done to make his victim whole?
The victim’s father was in attendance and said the victim’s mother passed away a few months before the incident.
“My daughter was struggling at the time, and I think Mr. Oldham really took advantage of that situation,” he said. The victim’s father said he believes Oldham thinks he’s “above the law.”
I hope you’ll take a moment to consider just what it is that you are paying for via taxation – and speak out against the violence.
Until next week, stay safe and remember that badges don’t grant extra rights.