Recently Stacey Barchenger of the Tennessean requested that the Nashville Chapter of Black Lives Matter comment on Metro Nashville Police Department’s (MNPD) position on a bill currently being debated in the state legislature on requiring all incidents of police shootings resulting in the death of civilians to be investigated by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI). MNPD rejected the idea of having the TBI investigate these incidents citing having more local knowledge, being able to respond faster, and that they could be more transparent with the people of Nashville if the TBI was not involved. BLM Nashville’s full statement is here:
“Metro Nashville Police Department refusing to give the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) authority to investigate incidents where police officers kill civilians illustrates the state of denial that our police department is currently operating under. Harassment, misinformation, and distrust of the police are already major problems in Black and highly policed communities.To hide under the guise of preventing misinformation and distrust implies positive community-police interactions are occurring in the first place. The Nashville Chapter of Black Lives Matter recently submitted a request to the Civil Rights Division’s Special Litigation Section in the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the administration of MNPD’s Operation Safer Streets program. Our preliminary findings indicate that Operation Safer Streets selectively and overwhelmingly targets communities of color, with more than 16,000 motorists and residents stopped by this program from January 2014-May 2015. More than 80% of those stopped were not arrested and the majority of the targeted areas, at minimum 26 neighborhoods, were predominantly African American. Most of the other targeted areas were neighborhoods comprised of Latinos and non-white immigrant residents. The insinuation that further scrutiny, transparency, and accountability from an external agency would make concerns about misinformation and distrust worse is absurd. If Nashville PD is following proper procedure and fully investigating cases then there should be no harm in additional oversight from the TBI.”
You can read the full article in the Tennessean here.