March Saturday Should Honor Unarmed Victims

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I hope that people realize that there can never be a winning outcome for the family of Trayvon Martin.  The not guilty verdict only added to their deep and unending pain.  When there is a march on Saturday, I would also hope that they include the memories of all of those numerous unarmed Trayvon Martins (by other names) that have been murdered by police officers in Chattanooga. 

When the family and friends of Leslie Vaughn Prater marched almost 10 years ago, we had no participation or support from the Chattanooga chapter of the NAACP.  The organization was silent.  In fact, the NAACP local president, at that time, attempted to silence us.  Her focus appeared to be more on hosting banquets, fashion shows, and organizing essay contests, which is why the membership probably declined. 

There was no accountability for those officers in our case.  They were rewarded with a week off with pay (an extra vacation for them) and returned to their jobs, even months before the internal affairs investigation was reported to be completed.    

I am glad to see that there is new local NAACP leadership in place that is sounding a call to action on social justice issues. I suggest that the group joins the Concerned Citizens for Justice on dealing with these matters.  I would also hope that Mayor Berke and Chief Dodd will publicly stand together and commit to a zero tolerance policy of police brutality in Chattanooga, and that the policy would include consequences of dismissal for violators.

Dr. Loretta P. Prater
Mother of unarmed homicide victim Leslie Vaughn Prater



Roy Exum: New Schools On Agenda

Hamilton County School Superintendent Bryan Johnson confirmed on Wednesday that a plan for several new public schools will be included on Thursday night’s School Board agenda. Hamilton County has fallen woefully behind other metro school districts in the state and, with an estimated $340 million in deferred repairs, upgrading facilities - that now average over 40 years old - was ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Mom Don’t Have…I Do’

It’s hard to know what goes through the mind of a five-year-old, particularly one who watches her mom go in and out of jail due to drug addiction. But little Sunshine Oelfke is obviously being raised right by her grandmother because the other morning, the five-year-old came into the kitchen before leaving for kindergarten with a baggie full of coins from her piggy bank. “I asked ... (click for more)

$125 Million County School Building Plan Includes Shifting CSLA To Tyner Middle; Combining Tyner High/Middle; New Harrison Elementary, New East Hamilton Middle

Hamilton County School officials on Thursday unveiled a $125 million building plan that includes moving the Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts to the current Tyner Middle School, which will undergo a major renovation. Tyner Middle will move across the street into Tyner High School. Both Tyner buildings have been under-utilized for a number of years. There will also be ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Committee Says Pulling Away From County Schools Is "Feasible"

After eight months of investigating the viability of Signal Mountain establishing a separate school district, a committee of six has determined that it is feasible and would meet the goal of improving the education provided to students. The committee was also tasked with identifying obstacles and if possible to find ways to overcome them.  Results of the report were presented ... (click for more)

Baylor Wins State Volleyball Title

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – There were tears on both sides of the court at MTSU’s Murphy Center Thursday afternoon. There were tears of relief and joy for the Baylor Lady Red Raiders while the tears for the Briarcrest Lady Saints represented heartbreak and disappointment. Such is the case when two really good volleyball teams meet for the second straight year for a D-II Class AA ... (click for more)

Lanters Are Latest Sister Acts Leading Lady Flames Teams

When one looks back on the success of the Lee University women’s soccer program over the past 16 years, it is easy to see what sisters have provided. Records show the surge began in 2001 and continues today with senior Summer and freshman Anna Lanter (former Soddy Daisy High School standouts) helping spark the Lady Flames to a current 8-4 overall mark and 7-2 in the rugged Gulf ... (click for more)