NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN)- The mother who helped Nashville get a police oversight board says it needs more power. Sheila Clemmons Lee delivered more than 8,000 signatures to put the issue on the ballot in 2018 after a Metro police officer shot and killed her son, Jocques. On Thursday, she told News 2 what she wants to change.
It’s been a long four years for Clemmons Lee.
“One of the things that I wanted to do was made sure that no other family would be done the way that we were done in a situation like this,” explained Clemmons Lee.
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Her son, Jocques’ death sparked calls for transparency between the public and Metro police. After months of back and forth and protesting, the Community Oversight Board was established.
“I always said we couldn’t help Jocques anymore, but if we could help another family that came along after us, then our son’s life is not in vain,” Clemmons Lee said.
Through an online interview, Clemmons Lee explained why she continues to stay updated with what’s happening in Nashville, even though she has since moved out of state.
“People need to know that I am still involved, even though I am not in Nashville anymore this is something I hold near and dear to my heart. To me, my son was a sacrifice for change,” said Clemmons Lee.
She pointed out the recent headlines, noting Metro police bodycam footage had been edited in some cases. She, along with the board itself, is now asking for more resources.
“Nashville’s leadership needs to fully embrace the Community Oversight Board with actions, not just lip service,” said Arnold Haynes. “Making MCO staff a high priority in next year’s budget. Take off the blinders and understand that the Community Oversight Board is not a liability but a benefit to overall safety.”
Clemmons Lee is now asking for equal access, meaning the Community Oversight Board would gain access to all the investigative tools MNPD has including un-redacted evidence, in the near future. As of right now, there is no sign of that happening.