Religious leaders including members of The clergy for truth justice love and healing released a statement Sunday morning, calling for the resignation of Hamilton county sheriff Jim Hammond.
This is after the public witnessed dash cam video of five deputies attempting to arrest Reginald Arrington Jr.
Sheriff Hammond said during a press conference Sunday that he has no intentions of stepping down.
“I’ve got four year terms and I was elected by the people and the people have to decide if they want me as a sheriff or someone else” said Sheriff Hammond.
Sheriff Hammond says the letter released by the clergy is concerning, “They’re reaching back into the past that has nothing to do with racism.”
Reverend Terry Ladd a pastor at the first baptist church in Chattanooga, said the clergy’s demands are necessary, “You can’t continue on as business as usual when you have these egregious activities that are coming out of the department.”
Steve Caudle of the greater second missionary baptist church in Chattanooga believes recruiting more black deputies would bridge the gap in the Hamilton county community, “That’s one of the major problems in policing in America. There simply is not enough black cops and sheriff deputies on the way right now.”
“What I need is recruitment. Give me some some young men and women that I can hire who can become law enforcement agents” said Sheriff Hammond.
“I think it’s also not only hiring them but also supporting them when they get in there” said Reverend Ladd.
Reverend Ladd also said Sheriff Hammond along with other community members established a minority relations community task force back in March of 2019.
Steven Smith a member of the task force says it’s meant to improve relationships with the sheriff’s office and the community, “To increase minority hiring and also provide opportunities for continued dialogue between the community and sheriff Hammond.”
The Minority Relations Community Task Force expects to release a statement this week.