NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Nashville’s Community Oversight Board is trying to establish procedures for how it will be notified in the event of a shooting involving a Metro Nashville Police officer.
"We're going to try to iron out what our response should be in instances similar to those that occurred this weekend,” said William Weeden, Executive Director of the Community Oversight Board. “[We need to know] how we are notified of an incident like this and how we respond to it, who are the commanders on the scene and who we should direct our questions."
The board was created in 2018 and has the power to conduct investigations into any possible misconduct by officers. It is a citizen-led board made up of 11 members and can issue reports of allegations of misconduct and suggest punishment.
Weeden says because the COB is so new, having only held its first official meeting this spring, it is still establishing plans for emergency notifications, but described the proposed plan as such:
"Once we get our notification system in place and we're notified of an incident by emergency communications, they'll give us a call or send us a text or an email and let us know where the scene of the incident is. We'll send somebody out to respond to that incident and wait at the scene until Metro Police secure all the evidence. Once it's all been secured, we'll be allowed into the crime scene to observe whatever evidence is still there. We'll talk with the commanding officer who is in charge and get a briefing. If there's any video evidence, hopefully we'll be allowed to take a look at the video or audio and also, get a list of the witnesses involved – either civilian or law enforcement."
During Monday night’s Executive Board Meeting, the COB members stated they were able to meet with the Metro Police captain Monday morning and were given a list of police witnesses to the shooting, but that was after they had spent Saturday and Sunday trying to obtain information.
They say they were not notified about the shooting until 8 a.m. Saturday, nearly eight hours after it happened, and the scene was cleared. Despite their attempts, members of the COB executive team say they could not get in contact with the police chief and were redirected to different areas to try to obtain information.
"We did not go out to the scene this weekend,” said Weeden. “We didn't have our procedures in place at this point and time. We're still working out our memorandum of understanding for emergency communications so we can be notified if the next incident won't happen or if it does happen."
The organization has called an "Emergency Board Meeting" for Wednesday night. The agenda for the meeting has not yet been made public.
As for the COB’s ongoing public records request for seven years of information, Weeden said it’s an attempt to get data on traffic stops, arrests and employment data of police officers. He says once they get it from Metro Police, it will have a data analyst crunch the numbers and put it all together.
"It's going slow,” said Weeden. “This is all new so we're trying to work it out. We would of course like to receive it a lot sooner than later."