The Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office received a letter Monday from Chattanooga Clergy for Justice, asking for the DA’s assistance in requesting that the Department of Justice (DOJ) investigate what they believe is an excessive use of force during a traffic stop by a Collegedale Police Officer. The group is also asking for an investigation by the DOJ into allegations of multiple crimes being committed at the Silverdale Detention Center, which is operated by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office.
Since the first of the year, there have been three rapes inside Silverdale, as well as a stabbing, an alleged severe beating, and reports of multiple drug overdoses.
“Right now, it appears that Silverdale is one of the most dangerous places to be in our county, and that is unacceptable” said District Attorney General Neal Pinkston. “Individuals at Silverdale have the right to be protected and that right should be taken very seriously by every member of our justice system. Therefore, I will formally request that the DOJ investigate the conditions and operation of Silverdale.”
General Pinkston added that in light of the concerns expressed by the Chattanooga Clergy for Justice, he is withdrawing his request for the sheriff’s office to investigate the traffic stop in Collegedale and instead ask the DOJ to investigate that incident as well. Specifically, the request will be sent to the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C., as well as to the acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee.