Metro Nashville's Community Oversight Board investigating after four officer-involved shootings

crime scene tape
Posted at 10:05 PM, Apr 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-26 23:40:13-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — Four months into the year, there have been four shootings at the hands of a Metro Nashville police officer. Any time that happens, there are several agencies available to investigate.

One is the Metro Nashville Community Oversight Board (COB). The COB was formed two years ago after being requested and voted on by the people of Nashville.

"I think that we transition into an understanding of how accountability should look like and what transparency looks like," said COB Executive Director Jill Fitcheard.

The board handles citizen complaints against MNPD, and also look into all cases involving police use of force.

"Any particular case that involves a police shooting we’re going to investigate, I call it a director initiative investigation," said Fitcheard. "For instance, it would be any police officer-involved shootings, any type of egregious activity by a police officer with a citizen without a complaint."

So far in 2021, there have been four shootings involving a Metro police officer. In all of 2020, there were three.

"Even though we can't talk about certain things, specifically we are aware of what's happening and we are concerned about the people of our city."

Fitcheard says it's the job of the COB to offer recommendations to the police chief after the board conducts its administrative investigation into an officer-involved shooting.

"The administrative investigation is strictly on was policies, procedures and protocols followed; not only were they followed through MNPD’s policies but also was there any violation of the civil service rules," Fitcheard said.

When an officer-involved shooting occurs, COB members are immediately called to the crime scene, have access to witness statements and body-worn camera footage often times after the TBI has completed its investigation. The organization also has subpoena power.

The COB will then post its findings and recommendations on its website.

But Fritchead says in the end, it's up to the chief to decide what happens to the officers involved, if anything happens at all.

"It’s a lot going on in our city, we are concerned about it."

In Davidson County, there is a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in place between the District Attorney's Office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The MOU requests the TBI to investigate all Nashville cases where officer related use of force results in death.