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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, August 2, 2019

Hamilton County DA creates hotline for citizen complaints




In response to several incidents involving allegations of excessive force by local law enforcement officers, Hamilton County District Attorney General Neal Pinkston has set up a hotline for citizen complaints.

“We have been made aware of several incidents involving claims that excessive force was used,” Pinkston says. “As the investigations of those incidents proceed, I believe we need to find out if these are isolated incidents or if there’s a systemic problem.”

In recent weeks, the DA’s office has received several videos that have prompted investigations of possible excessive use of force. The incidents occurred at traffic stops and other locations where citizens were in police custody.

“We fully support all law enforcement agencies in Hamilton County,” said Pinkston. “We work with them every day and they do an outstanding job keeping us safe. However, if any officers abuse their authority, we will take action against them.”

Citizens who believe they have been the victims of excessive force on the part of law enforcement officers are encouraged to call the district attorney’s hotline at 423 209-7480. Complaints can also be sent to excessiveforce@hcdatn.org.

Pinkston said he will personally review each complaint with assistance from an assistant district attorney and an investigator in his office.

Pinkston said that in setting up this hotline, his office has to strike a delicate balance between supporting law enforcement and private citizens.

“It’s our responsibility to not only prosecute the guilty but also protect the innocent,” Pinkston says.

“If an officer has abused his or her authority in this county, we want to know about it.”

Source: Hamilton County

District Attorney’s office