Mayor Cooper calls for investigations into sexual misconduct within MNPD

Posted at 8:52 AM, Aug 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-11 22:42:41-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Metro Nashville Mayor John Cooper has called for investigations into alleged sexual misconduct within the Metro Nashville Police Department.

During Tuesday's COVID-19 update, the mayor's office said they couldn't comment on it because they consider it to be a criminal investigation.

A former Metro officer said she found more than two dozen current and former MNPD employees say they've been sexually assaulted, harassed or discriminated against.

Former officer Greta McClain, who runs the group Silent No Longer Tennessee, said the group was contacted by a Metro officer in April who said she had been sexually assaulted by a superior years ago.

McClain's group launched a survey of Metro police employees and found what they called a "disturbing" trend of complaints being filed and nothing being done about them.

McClain said problems like these contribute to the lack of trust in police.

"It's very difficult to keep the faith and do what is already a very difficult job when many of those in power abuse that power and use their authority to intimidate those who are truly trying to serve the community honorably," McClain said.

On Monday night, Mayor Cooper called the allegations "deeply concerning" and said he sent the allegations to the District Attorney and Metro Human Resources.

"I hope this process gains the confidence of those alleging misconduct and encourages them to share more information so an independent review comes to a just conclusion," the mayor said.

Interim Chief John Drake released the following statement Tuesday evening concerning allegations:

“I want to be clear that I and the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department have absolutely no tolerance for sexual harassment or sexual misconduct. Any allegation of that nature against any police department employee will be taken very seriously and investigated.

After reviewing certain material this afternoon from Silent No Longer TN, the MNPD joined Mayor Cooper in asking District Attorney General Glenn Funk to request an independent TBI investigation of an allegation of sexual assault by one employee in 2016. General Funk concurred with this request.

The Office of Professional Accountability is examining the Silent No Longer TN report for policy violation allegations that have not been previously investigated by the police department. Many have. We will take action against those found to have violated our rules.”