“They are just three guys throwing fireworks”
Those are the words of Robin Flores, attorney for James Smiley, who is one of three men charged with civil rights intimidation after being arrested for yelling racial slurs at residents of the predominately black East Lake Courts.
Flores asserts the men are not the “racist animals” they are being portrayed to be.
However, local NAACP President Valoria Armstrong says these actions are unacceptable. “This is one of those appalling malicious instances that apply to discrimination and what we are calling for is for these individuals to be charged to the fullest extent of the law,” she said.
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If convicted, the men could face anywhere from 2 to 12 years in prison.
Flores has maintained that the men are innocent, despite his client’s 86-page personnel file. Flores also claims the arresting officer has a history of “going off the handle” and using excessive force.
The Chattanooga Police Department states the responding officers acted appropriately.