Attorney argues both teen and Officer John Anderson were negligent in deadly crash

Posted at 6:11 PM, Aug 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-20 00:00:55-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The attorney for 17-year-old Jayona Brown, who crashed into Metro Police Officer John Anderson, killing him, says the officer was traveling much faster than police protocol allows.

Brown's attorney, Michie Gibson, says he reviewed the data from the Event Data Recorders -- essentially the black boxes from both the car Brown was driving and Anderson's patrol car.

According to Gibson, the data shows Officer Anderson was going more than 70 mph in the seconds before the crash at Interstate Drive and Woodland Street. The posted speed limit is 35 mph, and MNPD policy allows officers to travel just 10 miles over the limit during emergencies.

Gibson says his client, Brown, was traveling around 40 miles per hour.

"There's two things that caused that wreck early that morning," Gibson said. "My client ran a flashing red light. Officer Anderson was going too fast. If neither one of those things had happened - had you taken away Jayona Brown running the red light, the accident wouldn't have happened. If you take away Officer Anderson going too fast, the accident wouldn't have happened. So it's the combined negligence of both parties that caused this collision."

The Fraternal Order of Police said the new speed information does nothing to lessen the culpability of Jayona Brown, who they say was recklessly trying to get away from police in the moments before the crash.

"If [Gibson] thinks by some stretch of the imagination that Anderson's speed somehow makes him complicit in this accident, I don't know how he sleeps at night," said James Smallwood, FOP president.

Brown faces a juvenile detention hearing on Thursday, where a judge will decide whether she can be released before a trial.

28-year-old Officer Anderson was a four-year veteran of the Metro Nashville Police Department, joining them on November 1, 2014.

He was also a member of the Metro Police Drill and Ceremony Team (DCT). DCT is a team of officers that was formed to honor the lives and memories of officers killed in the line of duty.

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