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Clemmons Investigation Divides Police, District Attorney

Posted at 5:14 PM, May 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-14 18:25:10-04

The investigation into the shooting death of Jocques Clemmons has brought to light a very public disagreement between Davidson County District Attorney Glenn Funk and Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson.

At the heart of the two agencies' division is the way the Clemmons investigation was handled.

Both agencies agree that when Officer Joshua Lippert shot and killed Jocques Clemmons in February, he was acting in self-defense.

Investigators said Clemmons failed to comply with Officer Lippert's commands following a traffic stop. At one point, Clemmons pulled out a gun an pointed it at Officer Lippert. That's when Office Lippert fired three shots. One hit Clemmons in the hip and the two other bullets hit him in the back. 

Clemmons was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Yet, just hours after Clemmons' death, Metro Police filed a preliminary report calling the incident a "justified homicide," something the Disctrict Attorney's office said could create a perception of bias.

Metro Police, though, have only four options related to homicide when filling out a report: Murder and Non negligent Manslaughter, Negligent Manslaughter, Justifiable Homicide and Negligent Vehicular Manslaughter.

"It’s takes an effect on people because they feel like the community doesn’t have trust in us when we work so hard to gain that trust," said James Smallwood, President of the Fraternal Order of Police.

Smallwood said any perception that the Metro Police Department is bias, is simply untrue.

"There’s a big difference between perception and reality," he said.

Members of Jocques Clemmons' family though, disagree with the narrative released by officials and have asked for an independent, civilian investigation