Chattanooga, TN - Chattanooga City Councilwoman Demetrus Coonrod whined to the media about how an officer treated her on a traffic stop. When bodycam video was reviewed, it was discovered that the city councilwoman actually tried to intimidate the respectful officer (video below.)
The councilwoman says that she was upset because she wasn't given enough time to locate her insurance. "Even though I hold elected office, I expect to be treated like all other Chattanoogans," Councilwoman Demetrus Coonrod whined, according to Times Free Press.
The bodycam video paints a different picture.
The night of June 24, officers stopped a car in the 300 block of East M.L. King Boulevard because the registration was expired. Coonrod was a passenger in the car and also the owner of the vehicle.
The driver, Anthony Gladden, told officers that he didn't have his driver's license with him and there was no proof of insurance in the vehicle. A records check determined that the man had never been issued a driver's license. When Coonrod was identified, she made it very clear that she was a city council member.
The officer returned to her vehicle to issue a ticket for no auto registration, driving without a license, and no proof of insurance. She also advised the occupants that Demetrus Coonrod would need to drive because Gladden didn't have a license.
Coonrod then stepped out of the car and told the officer that she was going to call then-Police Chief Fred Fletcher.
"OK," the officer responded. The officer then explained that the councilwoman needed to get going along because her car was stopped in the road and the traffic stop had ended.
That's when Coonrod, apparently unsatisfied, again invoked her city council position and told the officer to call her chief. "I'm asking you as a council representative to get in touch with Chief Fletcher," Coonrod said.
"I can't do that," the officer responds.
"Are you sure about that?"
"I'm sure," the officer finished.
Coonrod still didn't get the hint. She made the officers stand by, blocking the road, as she made a phone call. When she concluded the phone call, she asked the officer for the name of her supervisor's name before leaving.
When asked by the Times Free Press to weigh-in on the situation, former Chief Fred Fletcher said in a written statement, "I am very proud of the professional way a young officer responded to a difficult and intimidating situation."
"I am certain newly elected CW Coonrod appreciates now that it is inappropriate to attempt to skip six levels of supervision/command and how this made an officer's difficult job even more difficult."
However, Coonrad said that she holds herself to a "very high standard of integrity." She did not provide an explanation for repeatedly stating her city council position during the traffic stop.
You can see the video of the stop below. Do you think that this is how your elected officials should act? We'd like to hear from you. Please let us know in the comments.