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Chattanooga police promise crime crackdown in wake of shooting death

After a young woman lost her life, there has been a growing police presence in and around downtown.

Chattanooga has a thriving downtown nightlife scene. Just a few months ago in August, the City Council voted to create a new downtown music district where businesses will be able to apply for permits allowing them to increase speaker volume to nearly double the previous decibel limit.

But, while a healthy level of activity in and around downtown can be a positive thing in a sluggish economy, it can also come with some unintended consequences. After a September shooting death just blocks from historic downtown landmarks like the Chattanooga Choo Choo, police have promised a crackdown that could result in more arrests, and teens are particularly likely to be targeted and charged with crimes.

Entertainment district brings fears of crime

During the early morning hours of September 7, a group of young adults was having a party in a parking lot located at 1900 Market St. According to a police spokeswoman, a nearby club called Chocolate City is open only to individuals 21 and older, but teens have begun to congregate in the surrounding parking lots.

Gunfire broke out in the parking lot at around 2:30 in the morning on September 7, and neighbors say as many as 15 shots were fired. When the smoke cleared, two people were injured and a 19-year-old woman who had recently become a mother was dead.

In the aftermath of the shooting, police have been working closely with area business owners, asking them for permission to sweep through and clear parking lots after business hours. But some local stakeholders fear this may not be enough as the city's new music district kicks into high gear.

"I'm not saying that having an entertainment district means everyone is going to get shot all the time," the president of the Fort Negley Neighborhood Association Kerrick Johnson told the Times Free Press. "But in entertainment districts...a lot of things follow these districts."

If your child has been swept up in a police crackdown, you need legal help

The recent shooting is a terrible tragedy. But it could generate even more problems as teens are pulled from the streets and charged with underage drinking, weapons crimes and other offenses.

Most juvenile crimes are relatively harmless youthful mistakes. Even so, they can still derail an otherwise bright future. If your son or daughter has been picked up in a police sweep of the downtown area or has been arrested anywhere, you need to take proactive steps to get out ahead of the problem: contact a Chattanooga criminal defense attorney today.

Keywords: Chattanooga, police, downtown

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