Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson

The mayor has announced the Metro Nashville Police Chief Steven Anderson is retiring effective Thursday. 

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Chief Steve Anderson of the Metro Nashville Police Department and Tennessee Governor Bill Lee have shared their thoughts regarding the death of George Floyd. 

Floyd died earlier this week when a Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd's neck, with Floyd repeatedly telling the officer he couldn't breathe. The four officers involved have since been fired. Video of the incident surfaced and sparked protests regarding the incident throughout the country. 

Here in Nashville, Chief Anderson of the Metro Nashville Police Department sent the following statement regarding the incident to Chief Investigator Jeremy Finley:

Every officer in our police department and throughout the country should be emotionally shaken by what has occurred in Minneapolis.  Words cannot adequately express my disdain over the actions that led to the death of George Floyd. The total lack of concern shown by the officer as he continued to hold his knee to the neck of Mr. Floyd as he repeatedly struggled to breathe is unconscionable.  Also intolerable is the lack of intervention of the officers who stood there.  -Chief Steve Anderson 

In relation to Floyd's death, a police officer in Greenbrier resigned this week after his controversial Facebook posts were exposed. 

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee also offered his thoughts on Floyd's death at his COVID-19 press briefing Thursday afternoon.

"I think what happened to George Floyd is horrific," the governor said. "I think it is heartbreaking [and] I think it is preventable and unacceptable."

Governor Lee said he thinks the officers "should be brought to justice" regarding Floyd's death. The governor also added he spoke with both African American and law enforcement leaders regarding Floyd's death, with all parties agreeing that Floyd's death in Minneapolis represents a very disturbing trend across the country.

"We have to be committed to recognizing and calling out police brutality where it exists," Gov. Lee said. 

The governor added he strongly supports and respects law enforcement, and stated police brutality and law enforcement are not the same. 

"Police brutality is not law enforcement, and police brutality should not be accepted in this state," the governor said. "I don't believe that we should or will tolerate it in the days ahead. It's unacceptable." 

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WSMV Digital Content Producer

A New York City native and a graduate of the Mizzou School of Journalism, Ethan joined the WSMV Digital Team in June 2019. Send him story ideas, food recommendations and sports topics to Ethan.Illers@wsmv.com and follow him on Twiiter @EthanIllers_TV!

Chief Investigative Reporter

Jeremy Finley is the chief investigator for News4 Investigates. His reporting has resulted in criminal convictions, legislative hearings before the U.S. Congress, and the payout of more than a million dollars to scam victims.

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