Community expresses concerns over witness safety after Clemmons - WSMV News 4

Community expresses concerns over witness safety after Clemmons file release

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Metro Police Officer Josh Lippert (Photo: Metro Nashville Police Department) Metro Police Officer Josh Lippert (Photo: Metro Nashville Police Department)

District Attorney Glenn Funk said Thursday that one of the key factors that prompted his decision not to recommend charges against Officer Joshua Lippert in the shooting death of Jocques Clemmons was the statements a witness made in her interview with police.

She describes seeing Clemmons drop a gun, ignore Lippert’s commands, and pick up the gun again, but said she didn’t see anything after that point.

Metro police released the witness’ interview as a part of the file from the case that is now closed. Police redacted the witness’ name in the written reports and edited her phone number out of the video recording, but her name, birth date and address are included.

Several community members told Channel 4 that seeing the witness video raised concerns about general witness safety after speaking out in controversial cases.

“How could you put her out like that?” community activist Clemmie Greenlee questioned the police department. “You put her out. You could put her life in danger. A witness like that is supposed to be anonymous. … Her life is definitely fixing to change as far as being a witness and being open like that.”

Metro police told Channel 4, according to state statute, closed case files can be released to the public. Spokesperson Don Aaron told Channel 4, police had several conversations with the witness and they knew she no longer lived in public housing before they released the investigative file. He said redacting her number was done with her best interest in mind.

The Davidson County District Attorney's Office said in a statement about the concerns, "We work hard to support witnesses in every case, and it is important for people to partner with law enforcement and report what they see whenever a crime occurs."

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