Metro Council member calls for Nashville police chief’s resignation

Local News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — After arrest warrants were issued for two community activists Thursday and then recalled, Metro Council member Freddie O’Connell urged Nashville Mayor John Cooper to request the resignation of Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson.

Metro police announced Thursday afternoon warrants had been issued for the arrests of Justin Jones and Jeneisha Harris on rioting charges connected to Saturday’s vandalism of a Metro police cruiser outside the Central Precinct in downtown Nashville. Police said the two well-known activists had walked on the car, contributing to the damage.

Harris tweeted she was turning herself in and added, “if something happens to me, I did not kill myself.” Jones also took to Twitter and called the charge “false” and “politically motivated.”

Nearly three hours later, Metro police said after “a review of additional information from last Saturday, some of which was just received this afternoon, the MNPD and District Attorney General Glenn Funk agree that the arrest warrants issued last night against [Justin Jones] and [Jeneisha Harris] will be recalled for the present.”

“I was actually shocked because I did lead and speak at a very peaceful protest. I was not involved in any vandalism. I was not involved in any rioting,” Harris told News 2 after the charge against her was dropped.

She added, “I did not want to be another number, so I was left in fear and in disgust with Tennessee law enforcement and the state in general.”

Metro Council member Freddie O’Connell addressed the situation on Twitter and called for the resignation of Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson.

“We have reached the point of absurdity,” O’Connell wrote. “I spoke to [Mayor John Cooper] this afternoon and encouraged him to request the resignation of Chief Anderson.”

O’Connell spoke with News 2’s Josh Breslow shortly after his tweet.

“They used the moment in the hours before the event to arrest two high-profile activists who do not have a history of actual violence and destruction and I think they realized that perhaps they had errored. We now know that the warrants have been recalled,” O’Connell explained.

He added, “this is not the kind of judgement that you would use in policing if you are responding to a moment that is calling for reflection.”

Metro police said Thursday evening that a prosecutor from the District Attorney’s Office had been assigned to help police with charging decisions regarding criminal acts of arson, rioting and vandalism that followed Saturday’s protests. The department said more than 60 Metro police detectives have been reviewing video and photographic evidence from the riots.

The latest on the protests and riots following the “I Will Breathe” rally in Nashville:

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