Melydia Clewell, spokeswoman for Hamilton County, Tenn., district attorney Neal Pinkston, fires back at suggestions that his office is prosecuting the daughter of Avery Gray, arrested June 25 while a city police officer assisted in the work of a car repossession apart from a court order. She says Mr. Pinkston is not the accuser, does not selectively use power or abuse and that Mr. Pinkston is an elected official of compassion who upholds his oath of office. I explain how the “fellowship of the finger” works. — DJT
You are incorrectly reading the law. It is unlawful to “intentionally prevent OR obstruct … by force.” Intentionally preventing arrest is against the law, even if the resistance is passive.
Further, I find the following slanderous accusation from you to be particularly troubling:
“You think that your use of state power as against the citizenry has no cost or damage to particular members of the citizenry whom you accuse.”
DA Pinkston has made no accusations of any kind against Miss Gray. A police officer made accusations, and it is the DA’s responsibility to prosecute charges brought to him which can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. He swore an oath to the voters of Hamilton County to do such. You are clueless if you believe DA Pinkston selectively prosecutes or abuses his power. You must be unaware that he employs someone to help defendants get back on their feet — someone who helps people find jobs and safe housing.
His only constitutional duty is to prosecute but he is compassionate, someone who understands — far better than you or I ever could — the magnitude of the responsibility that comes with the inherent power of the office.
‘Fellowship of the finger’ rebuttal
[My response] Dear Melydia, when an officer accuses a citizen, he is acting as part of a fellowship of the finger, if you will, as an agent of state government, whom Mr. Pinkston also represents as agent. When the officer accuses, your office accuses in principle, though the DA is unaware of any particular case. My remark assumes a coherence in policy on the part of State of Tennessee, that if the officer alleges, he knows BY CUSTOM AND PRACTICE that he will, generally speaking, be upheld by your office, although there are always exceptions and errors that Mr. Pinkston, in his professional good sense and mercy, recognizes.
Until the K*** Gray accusation is disavowed and officially and noisily dropped, it is fair to say she faces state prosecution for resisting. She faces Neal Pinkston, accuser, until that time. Right now, that family faces your office as accuser, with Officer Wright in the role of Mr. Pinkston’s witness and co-accuser. The officer pulled the trigger, and Neal Pinkston is along for the ride.
As for the statute, do you really think K*** Gray used force? Yes, the officer is yelping at her, but moving more slowly than his expectations is not using force. Force is active and violent, and this young woman did not use force. Force makes that law operative. The statute doesn’t apply. Period.
As for Mr. Pinkston’s acts of compassion and mercy, I know about at least one of these firsthand — his dropping the perjured police officer case against Hanson Melvin. https://tntrafficticket.us/2016/08/pinkston-asked-to-press-walking-while-black-case-vs-tough-cop/
This act in favor of Mr. Melvin is most memorable and most praiseworthy, and you can be sure that my reporting of this matter was highly to the DA’s favor. Across Chattanooga that week, people who knew of Mr. Melvin’s ordeal were praising God that justice — at least partly — was brought to bear in the state’s false accusations against this Christian family man. His relief at Mr. Pinkston’s hand was the relief of my listener and my reader. (But your office refused to prosecute the perjury clearly, clearly in evidence in the facts of the Melvin case, both misdemeanor perjury on the police report and felony perjury before the grand jury). Respectfully yours, etc.