Nashville Police Chief responds to DA's criticism in Clemmons shooting

Chief Anderson (WZTV)

The Metro Police Chief addressed the District Attorney's criticism of possible bias throughout an internal investigation of Jocques Clemmons' shooting death.

"I feel somewhat taken aback that we're criticized for something we didn't cause," Anderson said.

Anderson is talking about criticism from the DA's Office about a report from the Office of Professional Accountability that exonerated Officer Lippert before the TBI finished its investigation.

"To publish a report before all info is available may be seen as an attempt to influence the prosecutorial decision," said Assistant District Attorney Byron Pugh.

Chief Anderson said that criticism is unfair because releasing the report wasn't his idea.

"Keep in mind we were asked for that report," Anderson said. "We did not publish it."

The chief is also taking exception to another criticism. The DA's office is objecting to some characterizations in the department's police reports of Clemmons' shooting.

Indicators of bias outlined by deputy attorney generals including possible bias wording of Clemmons as a suspect and Lippert as a victim.

"Identifying the officer as the victim and Mr. Clemmons as the suspect sends a message that could be biased," said Deputy DA Amy Hunter.

Hunter says another part of those reports could lead people to think Officer Lippert was exonerated the day he shot Clemmons. She said Metro Police's report was concluded within five hours of the shooting as a justifiable homicide case.

A section of that report listed the event as a "Justifiable Homicide" with the status "complete." Metro Police Spokesperson Don Aaron disputed this at a subsequent press conference.

"The word 'complete' is a qualifier of justifiable homicide," Aaron said. "You either have a homicide that was completed, meaning the act occurred, or an attempted justifiable homicide. If you look at the fourth page of the report...the last page of the report indicates status, which clearly says open."

Aaron said it is absolutely not fair to say the police department's investigation was completed in the first five hours after the shooting.

Lippert shot and killed Jocques Clemmons Feb. 10 near Cayce Homes. The DA said Lippert attempted a traffic stop after Clemmons ran a stop sign and pulled into the complex. A confrontation ensued, and Lippert shot Clemmons three times.

DA Glenn Funk announced Thursday that Lippert acted in self-defense so the office will not file any criminal charges against him.

During Thursday's news conference, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry said there will be a separate administrative review of Officer Josh Lippert.

Read the full Office of Professional Accountability report below or click here on mobile.

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