Mother of Jocques Clemmons turned anger into action after her son was killed by police


Sheila Clemmons-Lee was filled with emotion moments after finding out Metro Police Officer Andrew Delke had been charged with criminal homicide Thursday in the shooting death of Daniel Hambrick.

“Through Daniel, we all get a piece of justice,” Clemmons-Lee said.

It’s justice Clemmons-Lee says she never got for own son, Jocques Clemmons.

The 31-year-old was shot and killed February 2017 while running away from Metro Officer Joshua Lippert.

Police say Clemmons had a gun.

Lippert wasn’t charged, leading to protests and community outrage.

“I was very devastated,” Clemmons-Lee said. “I was angry and mad.”

Clemmons-Lee turned that anger into activism.

“We’re going to different functions, churches, hitting the streets,” the mother said.

She organized sit-ins outside the East Nashville Police Precinct.

She also helped collect signatures for a citizen’s Community Oversight Board to investigate police misconduct.

“I couldn’t help Jocques,” she said. “But, if I could help the next family that has to travel this road, then it was all worthwhile. And, my son’s death was not in vain.”

Clemmons-Lee says the two untimely deaths have now bonded the grieving mothers.

“Sometimes, I call her,” she said. “Sometimes, she calls me.”

“We encourage each other.”

Clemmons-Lee says the charges are a step towards justice but far from the end of the work that still needs to be done.

“We all are working together to make true change in Nashville,” the mother said.

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