UPDATE: In a Monday press release, the sheriff’s office stated that a photo on social media depicting a Hamilton County Sheriff’s Deputy in regard to a racially offensive post is that of Deputy Carl Ritchey.
Ritchey is a former East Ridge Police Department officer. He worked at East Ridge from October 2007 to November 2013, leaving to take a job with the Chattanooga Police Department. His tenure at CPD was short-lived, less than a year, according to one official.
According to the sheriff’s office press release, Ritchey has been on medical leave at HCSO since May 28. The investigation into the social media post is ongoing, officials said.
The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office has launched a dual investigation into a social media post promoting violence that may have originated from an employee, officials said in a press release on Friday.
The press release states that the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office was made aware of a racially offensive social media post suggesting taking violent actions toward those involved with Black Lives Matter.
On this same date, the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office initiated a fact finding investigation by our Criminal Investigations Division as well as a parallel internal investigation being conducted by our Internal Affairs Division.
The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office has made the Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office aware of the post. We are also coordinating our investigative efforts with the local FBI Office and their specialized units.
There is not an employee who works at the HCSO by the name listed on the social media account therefore HCSO detectives are following all leads and utilizing forensic tools to identify and validate the source of the post. At this point, the suspect who placed the post has not been positively identified as an employee of the HCSO.
“This type of statement or conduct does not reflect our agency’s mission or values, nor will it be tolerated,” stated Sheriff Jim Hammond.