The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has concluded its investigation into a fatal officer-involved shooting in Nashville.
The TBI took over the investigation back in February after Jocques Clemmons was killed in a shooting involving Metro Nashville Police Officer Josh Lippert.
Metro Police conducted their own investigation, similar to what they have done for years. But after outcry from the community, District Attorney General Glenn Funk asked the TBI to step in.
The department completed its separate investigation into Clemmons’ case on March 23.
In the future, the TBI will investigate any incident involving the use of force by a MNPD Officer, or person holding a MNPD Special Police Commission that results in a fatality.
Tennessee State Conference NAACP along with area NAACP Units and Coalition Partners Call for Police Accountability, a Community Oversight Board, and an Unbiased Investigation into the killing of Jocques Clemmons.
The NNACP released this statement on Wednesday: “Two related events highlight the urgent need for police accountability measures in Metropolitan Nashville & Davidson County. On February 10, 31-year old Jocques Clemmons was shot twice in the back and once in the side by a Nashville police officer in the Cayce Place neighborhood of East Nashville. The ‘Driving While Black’ report assessing two million police stops from 2011-15 also found that Blacks are disproportionately the targets of police stops and consent searches.
The killing of Clemmons and ‘Driving While Black’ raise serious concerns about hyper-policing in Nashville. As the state’s oldest civil rights organization with a long-standing commitment to criminal justice reform, the Tennessee State Conference NAACP (also called the Tennessee NAACP) is calling for a fair and unbiased investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation into the killing of Clemmons. This investigation must be undertaken without interference and intimidation by MNPD.
To address racial disparities in police stops, excessive use of force, and civilian complaints of alleged policed misconduct (estimated at 700 complaints filed per year), Mayor Megan Barry and the Metro Nashville Council should adopt a Community Oversight Board (COB). Review or oversight boards exist in over 100 cities. The most effective boards have broad investigative and budget authority, and are staffed with representatives of community groups with a proven track record on civil rights.
An oversight board for Nashville has been endorsed by a number of groups: Gideon’s Army, Nashville Organized for Action and Hope (NOAH), Inter-denominational Ministerial Fellowship (IMF), NAACP, Black Lives Matter, Showing up for Racial Justice (SURJ), Urban EpiCenter, Democracy Nashville and Democratic Communities, Workers’ Dignity, Nashville Peacemakers, and Justice 4 Jocques Coalition. In fact, the Nashville NAACP called upon the city to create an oversight board two decades ago after a controversial policing killing.
The national NAACP also outlined principles for creating an effective oversight board in its September 2014 report ‘Born Suspect.’
Preventing excessive force such as the killing of Clemmons and improving police-community relations further requires a greater commitment to restorative justice initiatives grounded in evidence-based strategies. This entails dedicating more funds in the Metro Nashville 2017-18 budget for programs that provide alternatives to hyper-policing and incarceration.
Finally, we urge Nashville’s public officials, community leaders, and MNPD to be steadfast in their commitment to making the city a fair and safe place for all its residents. We urge that all groups work together to rebuild the trust between Nashville’s residents, especially communities of color, and law enforcement entities.”
As of Wednesday, DA Funk had received the report. It’s not clear when it would be made public.