NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The American Muslim Advisory Council in Tennessee is calling out law enforcement after the Christmas Day bombing in Nashville, saying the tip warning them in 2019 would have been taken a lot more seriously if the suspect had not been white.
While authorities have not identified a motive yet and have not called it an act of terrorism, media learned that the Metro Nashville Police Department was tipped off to Anthony Warner making a bomb back in 2019.
“As Muslims, everyone is looking at this and shaking their head and just saying ‘Well, if this guy was Muslim, things would be very different at this point,'” Executive Director of the American Muslim Advisory Council Sabina Mohyuddin told News 2.
The tip came from Warner’s attorney and his girlfriend on August 21st, 2019. A 911 call and a police report revealed they both told police he was making bombs in his RV.
“That idea coming from FBI and law enforcement is that if you see something, you need to report it, any suspicious activity. This has been weaponized against the Muslim community. I mean literally, Muslims have been thrown out of flight because people complain about the most minor things… Muslims speaking Arabic,” Mohyuddin exclaimed.
“And here, a woman complained about her boyfriend saying specifically he was making bombs… and the police did not take it seriously,” she added.
Police said they knocked and knocked, but Warner never answered the door. Chief John Drake of the Metro Nashville Police Department said they did not have enough to obtain a search warrant and they never received any further concerned calls.
“We feel that we’ve done everything we could do, but we’re still going to evaluate our procedures and try to evaluate any gaps, so I’ve ordered an incident after action report. That would take us from the initial call that was made back in August, and we can critique the entire thing to see if there was anything that we could have done better,” Drake said in a press conference Thursday.
News 2 asked Mayor John Cooper if he thought police did everything they could to vet the tip.
“This is a hard space, there are lots of rules. I know the department is dedicated to applying the law equally to all parties, but this may be a challenge that America will keep facing and so we have to be excellent at knowing how we respond to it,” Cooper said in that same briefing.
Cooper added equality under law is a goal for the city in 2021.
“That’s a goal we should be moving towards– that everyone should be treated equally, but we are far, far away from reaching that goal,” Mohyuddin responded.
Chief Drake also said colleagues around the country have verified that they could not have done more under privacy laws.
Mayor Cooper said he’s asked both the TBI and the FBI their opinions on how Metro police handled the tip.