Protester: Nashville has the opportunity to get it right
NASHVILLE, Tenn. —
As protester marched last night to Public Square it ended peacefully, but participants say it’s just the beginning.
It’s a result of the officer-involved shooting last Friday. Officer Joshua Lippert shot and killed Jocques Clemmons, and many are awaiting the outcome of the investigation.
Since 2014, a new wave of high profile officer involved shootings began to spark protests nationwide. Police worked riots in areas like Baltimore and Ferguson, while Nashville Metro Police provided hot chocolate and water in addition to normal safety for local protesters showing other cities support.
“I went to Ferguson, I went to Mike Brown's funeral, I have seen and observed many of the protests that have happened around the country," Jeff Carr said. "Nashville stands at a unique crossroads right now and we have a unique opportunity to get it right. "
Carr, Infinity Fellowship’s reverend, said it went wrong for other cities due to a lack of transparency and officer acquittals. Nashville protests have remained peaceful so far after Clemmons’ death.
“We are at ground zero," said Carr. "We're not just supporting other cities, but we are the city where this happened. I think now that we have something that has happened ground zero in Nashville here, we'll get to see if this is going to be hot chocolate, cookies or if this going to be real conversations with people to talk about systemic change."
Carr said change requires everyone, like Infinity opening a center for those in need and to bridge community gaps.
“It's up to the city leadership in particular they need make sure that they stay transparent at this point ...but they also need to bring to the table the voices of the people involved in the protests," Carr said. "We have an opportunity to break the paradigm, to break the mold, and actually heal the community and I hope Nashville will step into that responsibility."
Metro Police said their presence at the protest Tuesday was simply their job making sure everyone is safe.