Metro Police Department investigating Jocques Clemmons' social media, cell phone

Left: Officer Joshua Lippert Right: Jocques Clemmons

Investigators obtained warrants for cell phone records and social media accounts for Jocques Clemmons, killed by Metro Officer Josh Lippert last month.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation took over the investigtaion, but the Metro Police Department is still conducting its own investigation into Clemmons' background.

Clemmons has dozens of photographs on Instagram and Facebook. Clemmons Family Attorney Joy Kimbrough says the posts have nothing to do with how or why the 31 year old died.

"It's just an attempt to slander and villainize him," Kimbrough said.

Clemmons died after being shot by Officer Josh Lippert in East Nashville. Police say he refused to drop a handgun following a chase and confrontation with the officer.

According to search warrants filed by Metro Police, there is probable cause that Clemmons' Facebook, Instagram and cell phone contain evidence related to aggravated assault on Officer Lippert.

It’s something his family's attorney denies.

"There is no way at the time of that murder that Officer Lippert knew anything about Jocqes’ Facebook," Kimbrough said. "Their attempts to get the search warrant to go through his social media and his phone is irrelevant."

Fox 17 asked Vanderbilt Law Professor, Christopher Slobogin about social media and law enforcement.

"This is a very open area of the law, a very volatile area of the law with some courts requiring police to demonstrate a bit of justification before they can get this information," Slobogin said. "Another course is adopting a hands-off attitude."

Slobogin is not involved in the Clemmons case, but says social media can give investigators valuable insight.

"Presumably one thing they're trying to discover is with whom this individual communicated, and also over the course of the communication, whether it might be connect to some kind of illicit activity," Slobogin said.

Kimbrough said in this case, the focus is on the wrong individual.

"We saw what happened," Kimbrough said. "Focus on Lippert, we would like to know more about him and who he is as a person."

Metro Police say they don't know if social media posts or cellphone information will give them any insight into Clemmons' actions during the confrontation with Lippert. They say collecting the information is part of the investigative process.

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