Interim police chief: Changes coming after MNPD raids wrong home, use of force was ‘not appropriate’

Posted at 11:04 AM, Aug 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-20 12:09:37-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Metro Nashville Police Department’s interim chief says he believes there will be “substantial change” after officers raided the wrong apartment while serving a search warrant on Wednesday morning.

Interim Police Chief John Drake was asked about the incident during Metro’s COVID-19 update on Thursday. He said the department is making changes to “ensure that it doesn’t happen again.”

“This search warrant was through complacent investigations before the search warrant was served. The traditional method of surveillance and identifying fresh evidence wasn’t used,” Drake said. “Also, this was for a property crime. It was looking for items of evidence, and the force used was just not appropriate.”

He said the department’s approval process for search warrants stopped at the lieutenant level, and sometimes the captain or commander would be advised it. Moving forward, he said warrants will be approved by the deputy chiefs at the executive level. Approvals for search warrants will now go through four different levels of approval instead of two.

Additionally, he said those teams will be called in for “refresher training” for several months.

Body camera footage showed armed officers ramming the door of an Edgehill family's apartment at 6:05 a.m. Children were inside the apartment at the time. In the video, you can hear the mother responding to police, trying to understand the situation before officers force the door open.

The department announced an investigation into the incident on Wednesday. During a news conference, Drake said the undercover officers were executing an evidentiary search warrant connected to vehicle burglaries.

Three officers -- Jeff Brown, Harrison Dooley and Michael Richardson -- were decommissioned while the officer of professional accountability conducts an investigation to determine why force was used.

Read more: 'This shouldn't have happened.' MNPD raids wrong home; officers decommissioned