NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Metro Nashville Police Department officials explained Wednesday that four curse words from a body-worn camera video were muted, adding that the editing process didn't delete or splice the footage.
MNPD spokesperson Don Aaron held a press conference about the issue in light of recent media coverage of the footage with the muted words going to the Community Oversight Board. While COB executive director Jill Fitcheard said some sections of the video were removed, Aaron argued that was false.
Watch the full press conference below:
"I think the police department is doing its best," Aaron said. "We have relayed information as we have gone through this process. We have a liaison to the COB. We continue to want a fruitful and amicable relationship. But in regard to the video stories that have been run, there have been adjectives that accurately portray the muting of four words in this hour and three-minute video."
The video — one hour and three minutes long — had four words muted: three by a citizen and one by the responding officer. The department employees who edited out the words were reprimanded with a written note in their files.
Full body camera footage below:
How employees handled the video came up because the citizen at the heart of the police call complained about Officer Brandon Champan's response at the Cock of the Walk restaurant in 2021. The customer didn't want to pay for a fish meal she didn't eat, but a chicken tender meal her friend ordered. Originally issued a misdemeanor citation, the Davidson County District Attorney threw out the case.
Nearly a year later, the COB emailed the police department its response to the findings from the video. The Office of Professional Accountability issues a report that Chapman "displayed a lack of self-control in his response." That self-control manifested in the usage of the profane word.
Moving forward, Aaron said the department will create a log reflecting legally required redactions in videos. The department also released the full, unmuted video.
The Community Oversight Board wasn't immediately available for comment.