Community Oversight Board calls emergency meeting, police chief turns down invitation

Posted at 4:28 AM, Sep 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-18 13:34:23-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Nashville's Community Oversight Board scheduled an emergency meeting for Wednesday afternoon and asked Chief Steve Anderson to come on behalf of the police department.

On Wednesday morning, NewsChannel5 was given the emailed invitation and the reply from Chief Anderson. In the original email, executive director of the Community Oversight Board William Weeden asked Chief Anderson to participate in the meeting. He wrote "your participation in the civilian oversight process is vital to the mission of Metro Nashville Community Oversight and to the community that all we serve."

Chief Anderson turned down the request. He replied, in part, "on any meeting I attend I attempt to gather as much subject matter information as possible prior to the meeting so that I am prepared to disseminate accurate, pertinent and correct information to the public. It does not appear that this agenda item is defined in a manner that would allow meaningful public discussion."

You can read Chief Anderson’s entire response here.

In recent weeks, members of the COB expressed that they were having a hard time doing their job. The mission of the board is to investigate allegations of misconduct by the police department. The board hoped to confront Chief Anderson at the emergency meeting about why they had not received documents requested about cases they're investigating. Supporters even collected signatures in an online petition.

Last week, the police department gave NewsChannel5 a set of documents. According to MNPD, the board has requested reports dating back 18 years. The police department said that would amount to about 13 million pages of paperwork and would be costly.

Read more: Metro Police pushing back on claims they’re not participating with COB

Mayor-elect John Cooper was also invited to attend the meeting at 4 p.m. at the Metro Historic Courthouse.