This week's cover story, "Officer Down," deals with Calvin Hullett, a former Metro PD lieutenant now serving a 10-month federal sentence for embezzlement. Hullett gained notoriety back in July of 2007, when he was arrested for installing surveillance cameras at a Mt. Juliet youth camp run by the Fraternal Order of Police, Metro PD's representative union.
At the time of his arrest, details were scant. The Tennessean's Gail Kerr, speaking for a lot of people who probably saw kids + cameras and immediately thought pervert, called Hullett's actions "creepy, bizarre and immoral." But as it turned out, Hullett was primarily guilty of trusting the wrong people and doing something very, very stupid.
As a former president for the FOP, Hullett had waged a long war against what he saw as abusive behavior towards the inner-city kids at the camp. Officers got drunk and rowdy, he claimed, and that combustible combo sometimes ended with kids shoved up against walls or choked out for talking back. When Hullett became an organizer for the Teamsters, the notoriously corrupt rival union, during their bid to represent Metro PD, he had double the reason to try and shame his former employers.
What resulted was a bizarre case that involved inmates turned informants, Starbucks rendezvous with Channel 5's mustachoied muckracker Phil Williams, a hit-man-hiring accomplice and a cover up that Hullett claims indicts both the Teamsters, the TBI, District Attorney Ed Yarborough and Police Chief Ronal Serpas.
Hullett checked himself into McCreary federal prison in Pine Nut, KY last Wednesday. The same day "Officer Down" went to press and mere hours after he'd recorded the video above. In it, Hullett lays out his case, sometimes coming dangerously close to self-martyrization (as in when he refers to himself as a political prisoner). But after reporting the story, it's hard not to see where he's coming from. I'd try to convince you myself, but I'd rather you read the story instead.