How do we rebuild trust between community members and the police—and the government?
Trust only comes when there is accountability. A "Community Oversight Board" will establish an independent agency to create that accountability.
This is not "anti-police," but "pro-accountability."
A Community Oversight Board (COB) for Nashville police has been discussed for years. Two recent killings of residents by police have pointed out the critical need for a COB: Mr. Jocques Clemmons (February 2017) and Mr. Daniel Hambrick (July 2018).
NOAH supports the proposed charter amendment from the “Community Oversight Now” group to establish a community oversight board.
This charter amendment will be on the ballot in the November 6 election. (See the entire charter amendment HERE.)
- The board would have 11 Members who are unpaid and who are nominated by community organizations and the Metro Council representatives, with approval by a majority Council.
- Members will receive training from the Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) and in citizen oversight; must already have experience/knowledge of civil rights, equity & criminal justice. Members can’t be spouses of elected officials; nor have served as law enforcement officers in last 5 years.
- The board would be empowered to conduct its own independent investigations of alleged police misconduct and recommend disciplinary action and policy recommendations to MNPD.
- Where Board finds criminal misconduct, recommendations can be referred to D.A., Grand Jury, or U.S. Attorney's Office.
Accountability and quality control is necessary in any job – and especially when matters of life and death are involved. Oversight is needed, not only because of these two killings, but for other reasons as well:
- In October 2016, Gideon’s Army released the Driving While Black report showing that black drivers were being subjected to roadside searches at more than three times the rate of white drivers, even though a lower proportion of these searches resulted in the discovery of incriminating evidence.
- In March 2017, WPLN reported that for years MNPD had been distributing The Tactical Edge, a decades-old book with explicitly racist claims that people of color are more violent than white people, to all new police recruits. Currently, the book is no longer being used.
- In May 2017, in reviewing the Jocques Clemmons investigation, District Attorney Glenn Funk reported that MNPD’s internal investigation of the incident appeared biased in favor of the officer.
- In June 2017, the Davidson County Grand Jury recommended that civilians be involved in investigating officer-involved shootings, and the Department of Justice recommended that MNPD establish work groups to consider development of a citizen’s police advisory board. However, Police Chief Anderson ignored these recommendations and opposed the creation of a Community Oversight Board.
- On Sept 27, 2018, Officer Andrew Delke was charged with criminal homicide in the shooting death of Daniel Hambrick in July. This illustrates once again the need for a Community Oversight Board for both officer-involved shootings and for police policies in traffic stops and foot pursuits." https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/crime/2018/09/27/nashville-police-shooting-daniel-hambrick-andrew-delke-charge-denied-homicide/1441834002/
Vote FOR the Community Oversight Board in the November 6 election!
Nashville needs this to build trust with police and with government.