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NAACP wants ‘fair’ investigation into Markquett Martin shooting

claiborne st. shooting.jpg
Posted at 3:05 PM, Mar 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-02 16:05:18-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF)  — The Nashville branch of the NAACP said it wants a “fair” investigation into the shooting of Markquett Martin, which occurred during a foot chase with Metro Nashville police back in early February.

Metro police officials said Martin died on Feb. 10 while running away from officers on Claiborne Street. Police called the shooting a "self-inflicted gunshot death."

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Markquett Martin

The NAACP said the shooting highlights the “problems with policing, which include the lack of transparency, distrust and slow-paced reform of police practices.”

One question many have asked is why there wasn't any body camera footage from the shooting.

There are eight police precincts in Nashville. While each has a handful of officers already wearing body cameras, as of mid-February only East and West precincts were fully equipped. The rollout process is in stages, and the Hermitage precinct officers involved in this foot chase will not be entirely equipped until September. Metro police began a full deployment of body cameras in June of last year.

The NAACP also wants Metro police to revise its memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to allow the agency to investigate instances in which officers draw or discharge their weapons, so both could be classified as “use-of-force” incidents.

Currently, the TBI investigates cases in which use of force results in death – per the MOU. (Read more about that MOU here)

The organization also called on Metro police to build stronger relationships with the community by having “honest and hard conversations to address race, class, and gender biases.”

On Feb. 12, Metro police released its ballistics testing report from the shooting, saying the "sole shell casing recovered from the scene was fired by the semi-automatic pistol Martin was carrying."

Additionally, police said impact testing showed that the gun would not fire without the trigger being pulled. Investigators said, "no officers fired their weapons or used force."

Metro Police did release surveillance video from the MDHA video system, but that video pauses throughout. Police said the "MDHA video system does not record continuously. The 'freezes' in the video are from the system itself."

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As of March 2, Nashville's Community Oversight Board has not completed its investigation into the shooting.

"The case is being handled by one of our investigators and they are following the normal protocols of asking for records, video footage, and any other pertinent and relevant information required to conduct an administrative investigation," said COB Executive Director Jill Fritcheard. "Once our investigation is complete the information gathered will go to the Board for review and will include any recommendations."

Related story: Parents search for answers, question police in son's death