NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - In less than 24 hours, Jeneisha Harris and Justin Jones learned they had been charged with felony aggravated rioting, only then to find out the charge had been dropped.
“I led, and was part of a very peaceful protest. I did not partake in any vandalism or rioting,” Harris told News4. “The warrant is the result of them trying to silence me.”
Using two sets of video, obtaining warrants and interviews with law enforcement, News 4 Investigates how the case against the two unraveled.
In the first piece of video, obtained by News4 Investigates, Harris and Jones can be seen walking onto a patrol car on May 30th outside the Central Precinct.
Seconds later, loud sounds can be heard, and the operator of the camera begins to cry out as the video whirls to the ground.
In a second piece of video, sent out Friday by metro police, the two are already on top of the car.
The two stand on the car for a few moments, and then step off as the vehicle begins to be pelted with objects.
Police then released photographs of the car badly damaged having also been spray painted.
One of the photographs released by police shows the roof of the car dented, but it’s unclearly how badly.
In a statement released to News4 Investigates, police stated that after reviewing the video and the photographs, an unnamed South Precinct detective swore out the warrants on Wednesday.
News4 Investigates obtained those warrants, that claims both Jones and Harris were “seen walking on a metro Nashville police department vehicle. The vehicle that the defendant was seen damaging sustained thousands of dollars worth of damage”
The warrants went on to say, “As the defendant was damaging the police vehicle, there was a crowd of a couple hundred people. The protest turned violent and destructive, leading to a riot.”
On Thursday, as both Jones and Harris learned of the warrants, a spokesman for district attorney Glenn Funk stated that he requested to see the video and photographs as well.
“Further evidence and investigation, however, revealed that they did not damage the patrol car, so the arrest warrants were recalled,” said spokesman Steve Hayslip.
Metro police spokesman Don Aaron said in a statement to News4 Investigates that on Thursday, deputy chief Mike Hagar met with Funk.
“The result of the discussion was that the warrants would be made inactive, recalled, at the present time. The video and photographic material was hand-delivered to the District Attorney’s Office (Friday) morning. The South Precinct detective was acting in good faith and in accordance with procedures as part of the continuing investigation from last Saturday,” wrote Aaron.
On Twitter, Jones wrote that the charges were politically motivate and false, and then went on to say that it was unnecessary for police to send the swat team to arrest him.
Aaron denied that any officer, including a swat team, served the warrants before they were recalled.