Police Chief Ready To Quit After Dash Cam Video Comes To Light
COOPERTOWN, Tenn.- Backlash after video surfaced showing an unpaid reserve Coopertown police officer using racial slurs when talking about an African American man, is part of the reason why Police Chief Paul West now says he wants to resign.
Mayor Sam Childs said West verbally resigned Thursday, but did not provide any paperwork. The two are set to meet Friday to discuss the issue further.
"We talked about the firestorm that is brewing," said Mayor Childs, "he talked about how it is affecting his relationship with his family, and his kids' relationship with their friends."
That firestorm started after a police car recording caught a conversation between former Coopertown Officers Robert McCormick and Richard Bishop where they were using racial slurs. The officers were discussing how McCormick took the driver's license of black motorist Eddie Brown in mid-May, but did not give him a ticket after pulling him over. Mayor Sam Childs met with Brown who accused officers of racial profiling, even though Childs said Brown did not submit a formal complaint. That's when tension mounted between police and the mayor.
McCormick was fired after the incident came to light. In an unrelated incident, another officer was fired after being accused of road rage. If West does resign, that would leave the small department with no officers. It's a situation that has some Coopertown residents concerned about safety.
"We have no protection," said Fletcher Smith, Jr. "People can do as much speeding and break ins as they want, and there isn't anyone who can protect us."
If the department remains closed, the Robertson County Sheriff's Department will patrol the area until Coopertown can provide law enforcement.