Nashville NAACP calls for homicide to be investigated as hate crime

NAACP Representatives with the family and attorneys for De’Angelo Knox addressing the media. (photo courtesy of Highland Hills Funeral Home)

The Nashville Branch of the NAACP is asking Federal Authorities to investigate a homicide as a hate crime involving a Metro Nashville Police Officer and a 25-year-old African American man.

On October 2, 2018, De’Angelo Knox was shot and killed while fleeing gunmen by the security guard of The Pharmacy Burger in East Nashville.

NAACP representatives were joined by attorneys and the family of De’Angelo Knox, asking for a federal investigation.

“De’Angelo Knox a 25-year-old African American male was running away from three gunmen near the intersection of McFerrin Avenue and West Eastland Avenue, in East Nashville,” said Sheryl Guinn with the Nashville NAACP. He was running away from the gunmen past the Pharmacy restaurant and the male White security guard, Nathan Glass. Glass, for no justifiable reason, stood in the doorway and shot Mr. Knox in the back of the head. As Mr. Knox lay dying in the middle of the street the security guard prevented others from rendering aid. Mr. Knox was later pronounced dead.”

In an interview with police regarding the incident, Glass claimed that Knox pointed a gun at him.

According to Knox’s attorney, Joy Kimbrough, who viewed video footage of the incident, Knox never pointed a gun in the direction of Glass.

“Despite the footage, District Attorney Pamela Anderson refused to present the video proof to the grand jury and cleared Glass of any wrongdoing,” said Kimbrough.

Since the incident, Glass has become a member of the Nashville Metro Police Department, despite the incident and racist comments on social media.

“He now operates under the authority of a badge; he carries a gun; and he patrols the street of Nashville/Davidson County,” said Kimbrough.

Due to the social media posts as well as Glass’s conflicting interview, the NAACP is asking for the incident to be investigated as a hate crime, as well as Glass’ hiring to be investigated by Metro Police Department’s Office of Professional Accountability and by the Community Oversight board.

“We just want justice for De’Angelo Knox,” said his aunt, Fran Swett. “De’Angelo was a sweet child. I know he wasn’t perfect, but a sweet child. This particular police officer has no business on the force and he is not fit to be there. All we want is justice.”