February 16, 2017
(Nashville, TN) District Attorney Glenn Funk today instituted a policy to request the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) to investigate all Nashville cases where officer related use of force results in death. General Funk, along with TBI Director Mark Gwyn, announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the DA’s Office and the TBI, effective immediately, which calls for the TBI to investigate all officer-involved use of force deaths. Other officer-involved shootings will be reviewed on a case by case basis and may be referred to the TBI.
In conjunction with today’s announcement, General Funk submitted paperwork for the TBI to take over the investigation into the incident involving Officer Lippert and Jocques Clemmons on February 10, 2017. General Funk emphasized his confidence that the police department investigation to date has been handled expertly and appropriately.
“For Nashville to remain safe, law enforcement must maintain public trust from all segments of the community,” General Funk said. “Historically, the Metro Nashville Police Department has investigated their own officer involved shootings. Our police department is well trained and professional. Metro Nashville Police Department investigators have great integrity. The investigations performed by the Metro Nashville Police Department are expedient and transparent. However, best practices from around the country require that these investigations must also be independent. Only independent investigations foster the community confidence required for public safety.”
“Certainly, we face some challenges, as we now begin our work six days after this incident,” said TBI Director Mark Gwyn. “Due diligence, however, requires us to start at the beginning in this-and every-investigation. Still, we remain confident in our ability to investigate this case with the integrity, openness, and professionalism it demands.”
The 2015 report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing recommended mandatory external and independent criminal investigations in cases where police use of force results in death.