Chattanooga city council candidate Mott claims officer harassment at traffic stop
0:00 - Body cam 1
14:43 - Body cam 2
Video shows Chattanooga District 8 City Council candidate Marie Mott alleging Chattanooga Police officers were harassing her during a recent traffic stop.
The incident happened right before midnight Sunday night.
A police report we obtained says officers stopped Mott car due to the passenger headlight not working properly.
The report says, "Miss Mott became agitated and aggressive during the stop when asked for her driver's license, registration and proof of insurance."
Mott said the light law violation was not worthy of being pulled over, according to the report. She also says on the video that the officer performed an illegal U-turn to pull her over.
The arrest report says Mott handed over her driver's license, but refused to provide registration and proof of insurance. The report continues:
"Miss Mott began yelling and cursing at police stating police only initiated the traffic stop because she 'was black.' When Miss Mott was asked if the vehicle belonged to her, she stated 'Are you f------ kidding me?"
Police cited Mott for a light law violation, financial responsibility and improper display. The report says,
"When police advised Miss Mott of this, she stated multiple times she was not getting a ticket to show the tag being improperly displayed. Miss Mott then stated, "This is bull----."
Mott eventually signed her citations, according to the report.
You can hear Mott accusing the officers of harassing her because she’s a Black woman.
“She literally did an illegal U-turn so y'all could come follow me in a Black community. Y’all are white cops in a Black community. Y’all harassin me," Mott says.
In the body cam footage, Mott also argues that police should be focused on violent crime.
“We got shootings and stabbings going on. Y’all can’t do nothing about that, but y’all can pull people over in traffic stops," Mott says.
She even brought up the police response at the McCallie shooting.
"We got 14 people shot on McCallie, and y’all didn’t even show the f--- up," Mott says.
We asked CPD for the body cam footage on Monday, which they said they couldn’t release because of an open investigation.
On Wednesday, one day before the council runoff election, they sent it out to several media outlets.
We asked Chief Celeste Murphy about the timing.
"There was nothing out of pocket. We just realized we could release it and we did," Chief Murphy says.
Mott posted about the incident on her Facebook page early Tuesday afternoon:
The post says
One thing about me is I ALWAYS have receipts! My license is current, my insurance was current the night I was pulled over and renewed today, my tags are current as well as my vehicle registration is in my name which confirms my tags as current doubly. There is no reason I should have a citation let alone have a white cop with other white cops pull an illegal u-turn to follow me and pull me over in my neighborhood. Day in and day out we are excessively stopped and harassed over our population with gestapo tactics to violate our civil and human rights. Enough is enough and so is the constant racial profiling! These folks are SCARED because we are standing on business, waking up, fighting back, and choosing leaders who won’t sell us out or go along to get along. Separate the lies from the truth and the real from the fake ✨
“The media's the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses. -Malcolm X
We reached out to Mott for comment on this story several different ways, including texting, phoning, and messaging her on her Facebook page. We are still waiting for a response.
On Thursday, voters in Chattanooga's District 8 decide between Mott and Marvene Noel in a runoff election.
In light of this video being released by Chattanooga Police the day before the election, we asked CPD why we were denied an open records request for the video sooner. In an email, CPD Major Jerri Sutton told us, "There was a miscommunication on the status of the stop between the OCA [Office of the City Attorney] and us. No ill intent was meant."