CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Councilwoman Demeetrus Coonrod is apologizing to her constituents today after body cam footage was released of a traffic stop last month.
She also wants to shift the focus from her past and says things like this take the spotlight off of all the good she’s trying to do for the community.
Council Woman Coonrad says that she didn’t even think this was news, but felt it was necessary to apologize to the people she serves. She does believe this is a teaching opportunity for the officer involved, herself and the people in her community.
The night of the traffic stop Chattanooga officer Tiffany Lentz said, “Just because your council woman you think you got some type of authority.”
Council Woman Coonrad says that she has the utmost respect for law enforcement… voicing that in her statement as well as in meeting with Officer Lentz after the initial interaction.
Coonrad says, “so hopefully we can just work to build those relationships, The officer did perfectly during the stop. I have no complaints there… now a side conversation from that when she got back to the car now that’s a whole nother conversation.”
Coonrad went on to say,”I worked hard to get the title of councilwoman coonrad and I shouldn’t have to decide how or when I have to say that. If I don’t announce it, people have an issue with it. If I do people still have an issue with it so what do you want me to do here.”
Anthony Gladden was driving Councilwoman Coonrads car and was cited for driving without a license and no insurance. In the video, Council woman Coonrad is heard asking the officer for a supervisor because the officer said she could pull up the insurance verification, but the ticket was written before the officer returned to the car. Councilwoman Coorad says her constituents will never see his behavior exhibited from her again.
“I could have just you know just waited until after the traffic stop and addressed my concerns with her and maybe followed the chain of command such as I have done after the traffic stop,” says Coonrad.
Council Woman Coonrad doesn’t hide that she has a troubled past but says true progress will be when that isn’t the focus anymore.
Council Woman Coonrad says, “The reminders constantly everyday.. people want to attach the things that I’ve done years ago … decades ago… and I am not that person.”
Mr. Gladen does have a court date next week and he will probably fight the insurance citation. Coonrod says that she hopes her hard work isn’t forgotten in the midst of this.