Friday Night Opinion: Chattanooga Councilwoman Entitled on Traffic Stop

Last week we had Varnell, Georgia, and earlier this week, FNO examines the actions of a councilwoman in Chattanooga, a mere 28 miles northwest of Varnell.

Her name is Demetrus Coonrod, and this isn’t her first time gaining negative attention she claims to be racist, and has been arrested for among other things, child abuse.

Recently, the Chattanooga Times Free Press posted this video of Coonrod acting belligerent with a female officer from Chattanooga Police Department, for issuing traffic citations to the male driver of the vehicle, apparently owned by the councilwoman.

She calls either the Police Chief or an Assistant Chief of CPD after the traffic stop had concluded.  She requires the officer to standby, and wants a Sergeant present, and it’s clear she wants to protest the citations issued, which were well within the bounds of the law.

I’ll be quick on this one, because there’s enough source material here for you to draw your own conclusion.

But I have to ask you, is this truly the kind of council person you want representing you?  A person who wants special treatment because of their position, including avoiding responsibility for their traffic law infractions.

You may not be aware, but this type of behavior, left unchecked, is exactly how a person starts down a road where they embezzle funds, use their position to award contracts and jobs to family and friends, and all other unethical behavior in office you can think of.

Don’t believe me?  Well, I’ll point you to an acquaintance of mine from years ago, Paul Winfield.

Paul and I met at the Main Streets Conference held in Oklahoma City in 2010.  He’s a great person, or so I thought.  If you read that article in the link, you’ll get a rundown of what he did in office.  The sad thing is, I met him around the beginning of his term as Mayor of Vicksburg, and it can be said he was at the conference trying to find answers to revitalizing a city in Mississippi that all of us should be proud of.  It’s one home of the Blues.

Unfortunately, as you fast forward through his career, you find that Paul found it easier to take shortcuts, and by the end of it all he wound up in federal prison, losing his wife, his life, his name, and mired the city offices of Vicksburg into turmoil.

He also was stripped of his bar certification, which I know was hard to obtain, and not something he could have cheated at.  All that hard work, just to implode in the face of typical challenges.

Unfortunately, it is this type of character flaw that can be hard to find before it shows itself.

However, in the case of Ms. Coonrod, it’s already shown itself.  A serial-armed robber, a child abuser, a self-proclaimed racist, someone who can’t follow the simple rules of early release she was awarded for her testimony against corrupt corrections officers.

She showed us all a long time ago who she was and what she was about.  Apparently the citizens in Chattanooga are forgiving souls, and they gave her a chance.

But this is less than three months into her first term, and it’s only going to get worse from here.  If they let her stay in office, it will support her behavior, and she will become even more brazen.  Because that’s her personality, and that’s all she’ll ever be.

I hope for Chattanooga’s sake, a town I hold dearly, if for nothing else, that they are home to my favorite barbecue restaurant, Sugar’s Ribs, that they are less forgiving this time around, and remove Ms. Coonrod from office.

If you want to get involved, please write an email to Mayor Andy Berke, and let him know why Ms. Coonrod should not be in office.

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