Tapes of officer's testimony in shooting death released - WSMV News 4

Tapes of officer's testimony in shooting death released

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Officer Joshua Lippert was interviewed twice by investigators. (WSMV) Officer Joshua Lippert was interviewed twice by investigators. (WSMV)

Metro Police Officer Joshua Lippert gave two interviews to investigators regarding the shooting death of Jocques Clemmons.

The first interview was conducted on Feb. 10, the day of the shooting.

The second interview happened three days later, after Lippert was given the opportunity to watch surveillance video.

“I saw the barrel of the .38, and I see it coming up waist side, and at that point I fired. And I fired until the threat stopped,” said Lippert on Feb. 10. 

Officer Lippert said it all happened so fast, from the traffic stop, to the chase, the scuffle, the fall, and ultimately the shooting death of Clemmons.

There are some discrepancies in the two interviews.

Based on both statements, it’s unclear when Lippert first saw Clemmons’ gun.

“The first time I saw the gun was when it came out of his waistband. I immediately saw a silver revolver black grip,” said Lippert on Feb. 10.

In his second interview, Lippert said he heard the gun before he saw it.

“The first time I knew there was a pistol is when I heard it skidding across the pavement. I mean it's a distinct sound. And the first time I physically observed the pistol is when he reached for it,” Lippert said.

Lippert said watching surveillance video from the shooting helped jogged his memory.

“I am not trying to put words in there. I am not trying to work anything into the story. I know I specifically remember him picking it up and starting to turn towards me and the pistol coming up. But I do not recall the first time he picks it up,” said Lippert on Feb. 13.

There are some inconsistencies about how many times Clemmons grabbed for the gun and the physical confrontation between Clemmons and Lippert. But Lippert never wavers on the statement that he truly thought he was going to die.

“I mourn for this gentlemen and mourn for his family and their loss, but if I didn't do what I did it would have been me and my kids mourning me. And I am not going to wait for him to shoot me first,” Lippert said.

In both interviews, Lippert was questioned extensively about his Taser. Lippert said he drew it, but never used it.

An investigator asked him why didn't use that first. Lippert said he wanted to use as little force as possible, but all of that changed when Clemmons pointed the gun.

Lippert remains on administrative duty. Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson said he is currently on vacation.

Although he will not be charged, officials said that doesn’t mean he is back on patrol.

“Officer Lippert’s future was not discussed with me and Chief Anderson,” said Mayor Megan Barry. “He has a duty he needs to do, and he has the report that has been given by General Funk and he’ll use that.”

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