TBI takes over investigation for deadly officer-involved shooting

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said Thursday it will be taking over the investigation of the officer-involved shooting that killed Joques Clemmons on Feb. 10.

In a news conference Thursday, the District Attorney Glenn Funk said a new policy will be in place where it will investigate all Nashville cases where officer-related use of force results in death. Other officer-involved shootings in Nashville will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. General Funk and TBI Director Mark Gwyn, announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding in Thursday's news conference.

The District Attorney's office submitted paperwork to TBI to take over investigating the shooting death of Clemmons by Metro Officer Lippert.

“For Nashville to remain safe, law enforcement must maintain public trust from all segments of the community,” Funk said. “Historically, the Metro Nashville Police Department has investigated their own officer involved shootings. Our police department is well trained and professional. Metro Nashville Police Department investigators have great integrity. The investigations performed by the Metro Nashville Police Department are expedient and transparent. However, best practices from around the country require that these investigations must also be independent. Only independent investigations foster the community confidence required for public safety.”

Funk said charges, if there are any, will be filed after the investigation. The report will also be posed on TBI website following the investigation.

“Certainly, we face some challenges, as we now begin our work six days after this incident,” Gwyn said. “Due diligence, however, requires us to start at the beginning in this-and every-investigation. Still, we remain confident in our ability to investigate this case with the integrity, openness, and professionalism it demands.”

Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson said in a statement that MNPD welcomes the TBI investigation.

“The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department welcomes involvement by our partners at the state and federal level." Anderson said. "There is agreement across the board that a fair, timely and accountable investigation must take place. The TBI is welcome to any information gathered, as is the FBI and the United States Attorney, entities with which we have been engaging since Monday. I have full confidence in this department’s team of investigators who have expertise in matters such as this. I believe it important that Nashville’s citizens have a full understanding of the circumstances involved in police-involved shooting incidents. We will work to ensure that the public is kept informed of relevant detail as we work with the TBI moving forward.”

Mayor Megan Barry released a statement on TBI's takeover of the investigation.

“The citizens of Nashville deserve an expedient, transparent and independent investigation into the shooting of Jocques Clemmons by Officer Joshua Lippert. Today, District Attorney General Glenn Funk announced his decision to ask the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to conduct an independent investigation into that shooting. While I have complete confidence in the MNPD’s ability to fairly, thoroughly, and quickly investigate an officer-involved shooting, I welcome General Funk’s decision to seek an independent investigation. I know that our Police Department will do everything in their power to assist the TBI going forward to ensure an expedient and thorough investigation.”

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