New agreement reached on investigations into deadly officer-involved shootings

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – After the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said it wanted to pull out of the Jocques Clemmons investigation after the 31-year-old was shot and killed by a Metro police officer, it reached an agreement with both Metro police and the district attorney’s office on how future deadly officer-involved shootings will be investigated.

After Clemmons was killed, there was outcry from the public to have the officer-involved shooting investigated by an independent agency. The TBI was then asked to do its own investigation of the shooting by the DA’s office.

However, the Metro Nashville Police Department was still conducting their own internal investigation since the incident took place on Feb. 10.

Officials with TBI wanted Metro police to stop their investigation, saying in an email, “It will be impossible for the TBI to conduct an independent investigation while another agency simultaneously conducts the same investigation…”PREVIOUS: TBI wants to withdraw from Jocques Clemmons investigation

After weeks of back-and-froth conversation, the agencies said Friday they have come to an agreement on the terms outlined in an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

The understanding reportedly came after conversations facilitated by Mayor Megan Barry.

According to a press release, the mayor work with the city’s legal director to help resolved the differences of opinion between Metro police and TBI.

“I appreciate the willingness of Director Gwyn, Chief Anderson, and General Funk to come to a consensus on this MOU,” said Mayor Barry. “Once General Funk announced his decision to request a TBI investigation into all future deaths resulting from the use of force by an officer, it was important that the MNPD, TBI, and DA come to an agreement on how that process would work in a way that ensures the integrity of any subsequent investigation.”

The agreement dictates the DA to ask the TBI to investigate any incident involved in the use of force by Metro police that results in a fatality. Metro police will not conduct a separate criminal investigation but may conduct a simultaneous internal or administrative investigation unless that investigation would interfere with the TBI’s.

“I understand and appreciate Chief Anderson’s concerns about the MNPD relinquishing the ability to conduct a separate criminal investigation into the death of someone in Nashville,” said Mayor Barry. “The MOU takes into consideration the importance of the public’s confidence in the independence of the TBI investigation, and the TBI’s insistence on only one criminal investigation, while also addressing Chief Anderson’s concern that the MNPD receive regular progress updates.”

“The MOU I signed this afternoon is specifically tailored to Nashville and, as Mayor Barry and I agree, is in the best interest of Nashvillians,” Chief Anderson said. “This agreement helps to ensure that I will have accurate and timely information with which I can make any necessary decisions regarding the operation of the police department, and will be able to speak with community leaders with specificity as to what occurred. I appreciate the TBI’s words of respect for the MNPD as we have gone through this process. As I have said, I hold Director Gwyn and his staff in the highest regard.”

The MOU agreed upon Friday does not impact the ongoing TBI investigation into Clemmons’ death, officials noted. Click here to read Memorandum of Understanding in full.

Metro police completed its investigation on March 23, and the TBI’s is still in progress.

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