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Police officers should be held to a higher standard

Former Chattanooga police officer Kenneth Freeman should be in jail. Freeman has been re-fired by the Chattanooga City Council but that’s not enough. Police officers shouldn’t be held to a lower standard of conduct than private citizens, they should be held to a higher standard.

After five hours in front of the Chattanooga City Council, fired Chattanooga police officer Kenneth Freeman will stay that way. Fired.
First, a little history of Freeman’s story. Last summer, Freeman was relieved of his duties amid domestic assault allegations.  Authorities told us then that they responded to a apartment complex on Mountain Creek Road.  That’s where Rose Blanks told police that she and Freeman were arguing.  That’s when she says Freeman threatened her.
He was fired in August after an Internal Affairs investigation into several different incidents.  Police spokesperson Sgt. Jerry Weary said one of those incidents, “..alcohol was involved and he was found to have been carrying a firearm at the time which he consumed alcohol.”  She said investigators at Internal Affairs were actually looking into two cases involving three violations of department policy and procedures. “One was for turning in overtime sheets for time he had not worked,” Sgt. Weary explained.  Weary added that amounted to fraud, among other things. “And then the third was for conduct unbecoming,” Sgt. Weary said.

Peace officers should never be allowed to hide behind a badge, a department or a flag. An armed peace officer who shoves an old Wal-Mart greeter is not a professional, he is a criminal.

In one case, Officer Freeman was investigated for consuming alcohol while armed, carrying an unauthorized off-duty firearm and conformance to law. In the second case, he was investigated for insubordination and two complaints of conduct unbecoming an officer, police spokeswoman Sgt. Jerri Weary said in a news release.

Three complaints were sustained — consuming alcohol while armed, conduct unbecoming an officer relating to fraud by turning in hours not worked and carrying an unauthorized off-duty firearm, she said. His termination is effective immediately but he can appeal the decision to the Chattanooga City Council, Sgt. Weary said.

Officer Freeman served a 28-day suspension earlier this year after an internal affairs investigation that he exhibited conduct unbecoming an officer, improper procedure and excessive use of force in connection with an assault of a Wal-Mart greeter.

If I did all the things listed in bold, I would be going to jail. Kenneth Freeman got fired. That’s getting off easy. While I think it’s great that Mr. Freeman no longer has the ability to hide behind a uniform, gun and badge I believe he should be held to the same criminal penalties that I would be times two. If an armed police officers abuses his or her authority the penalty should be doubled. Frankly, I’d like to give Kenneth Freeman a good shove. He violated the trust placed in him by the citizens of Chattanooga acting through their proxies. He abused his authority. Kenneth Freeman should pay a heavier price for his criminal behavior.

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