NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Multiple pastors from the black community gathered to show their support for Metro Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson.
Amid demonstrations and protests in Nashville, more than a dozen Metro Council members have asked Chief Anderson to resign as well as the ACLU of Tennessee, saying "the change has to start at the top."
The faith leaders gathered for a press conference at Greater Revelations Missionary Baptist Church in North Nashville Monday afternoon.
"We support the demand for change in policing policies and political practices...there are some issues that we would like to sit down and talk with our chief about," explained Pastor Michael Joyner from Greater Faith Church in Nashville.
The men discussed their frustration and outrage over the injustices facing Nashville's black community, including racial profiling. They celebrated the many young activists who have taken to the streets in protest of the death of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
"Now as we celebrate what's going on in Nashville, we want to meet with the chief sit down and talk about the issues. I am on the chief's side...I want Nashville to know that he has my support and I'll be with him," said Pastor James Thomas.
They said Chief Anderson has worked to support the black community during his time on the job and they fully expect him to continue that effort. However, how he answers their questions will dictate their ultimate decision.
"What are his plans moving forward and are those plans very much inclusive of change in communities of color...the question that's going to be asked is can the changes be made through this administration or will it have to be another," said Pastor Joyner.
"You can have reform without changing your leader; so we don't have to go after as a community, in any organization, our chief of police. If we would focus on principle, we would not have to focus so much on personality," said Dr. George T. Brooks Sr. of Saint James Missionary Baptist Church.