Line Remains Fuzzy For When TBI Should Investigate Nashville Police Shootings

May 18, 2017

The first test for a new agreement between Metro Police and the District Attorney showed there's still some gray area in who leads investigations when a Nashville officer shoots someone. The topic is high on the agenda when DA Glenn Funk and police chief Steve Anderson meet for a mediation session with the mayor on Friday.

This negotiated memo states that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will take over when an officer shoots someone and there's a fatality. Funk pushed for this authority following the death of Jocques Clemmons in February. The five-page document lays out how the TBI will arrive within 30 minutes and who will be in charge of securing the evidence.

More: Read the MOU signed by the police chief and district attorney on April 7

But what if the person who was shot isn't dead? That's what happened Tuesday. The TBI showed up at the scene of a domestic violence incident in Antioch that turned into a shootout. The man who was shot by police was in critical condition but did not die. Metro Police says they informed the TBI there was no fatality, so the agents backed away. Given that standard, though, the TBI might not have taken over the scene when Jocques Clemmons was killed because he wasn't pronounced dead until he was at the hospital.

A police department spokesperson says there's no confusion from their perspective. But Funk's office says there needs to be some clarification and that it's the first thing he wants to talk about in Friday's powwow with Mayor Megan Barry.

The summit is at least the second between the city's top elected official, Chief Steve Anderson and Funk. It was initiated following the swapping of testy letters between the city's prosector and police chief.