Police

Nashville Police Oversight Board Holds First Meeting

Nashville’s new Community Oversight Board held its first meeting at the Metro courthouse last week to discuss leadership and staffing needs, The Tennessean reports. The board includes diverse members of the community, along with former police officers tasked with examining claims of racial bias and police misconduct in the city. Among the board members are former Davidson County Circuit Court Judge and Baker Donelson attorney Matt Sweeney and former Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper, who was elected secretary of the group. Voters overwhelmingly approved the establishment of the board in November 2018 despite opposition from Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson and the Nashville Fraternal Order of Police who expressed concerns that it may create a divide between law enforcement and the public. Chattanooga is also considering the adoption of a similar committee to oversee its police force.

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New Bill Would Offer Police Federal Hate Crime Protections

A new bill in front of Congress would make it a crime to intentionally target a law enforcement officer based on his "actual or perceived status" as one, CNN reports. The Protect and Serve Act of 2018 intends to protect law enforcement officers from violence for simply being a police officer. The bill, modeled on federal hate crime statute, has the support of major law enforcement groups, including the Fraternal Order of Police, National Association of Police Organizations and the National Sheriffs' Association, which say law enforcement is facing increased attacks. 
 
Opponents, including the American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Watch, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, say the bill wrongly extends protections to a group that does not need them because they are not vulnerable to bias or discrimination in the same manner as people of color and other historically marginalized communities. You can read the bill in its entirety here.
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Nashville Police Unveil $50 million Officer Camera Plan

The Metro Nashville Police revealed plans to purchase body cameras for all 1,440 officers and new dashboard cameras for 880 department vehicles, the Tennessean reports. The plan, which was presented at the Metro Police Department’s budget hearing with Mayor Megan Barry today, is expected to cost $50.1 million. The request comes after the department faced scrutiny in the wake of the police killing of Jocques Clemmons.
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Nashville Council Votes for Police Body Cameras

The Metro Nashville Council voted 30-5 last night to approve the immediate purchase of 168 body cameras for police officers, the Tennessean reports. The resolution comes in response to demands from demonstrators for the council to take action following the death of Jocques Clemmons, who was killed by police at a public housing community this year. 
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