Nashville FOP Demands PAC Stop Using Officer Likenesses to Advocate for Civilian Oversight Board

The Fraternal Order of Police sent a cease-and-desist letter to Accountability Matters PAC, saying the group used police officers’ images without permission to support Amendment 1 (setting up a civilian oversight board).

The commercial uses photographs of several Metro Nashville Police Department officers without their permission, James Smallwood, president of Andrew Jackson Lodge No. 5 of the FOP, said in a press release. The commercial also depicts the MNPD officers as proponents of Amendment 1. The officers shown without their consent in the video are opposed to Amendment 1 and were mad to learn their picture was being used without their consent.

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“Today, on behalf of the officers, we sent the … cease and desist letter to Comcast demanding that they immediately stop airing the Accountability Matters commercial that uses the likeness of our officers without their consent. We expect Comcast will pull the commercial immediately and force Accountability Matters to remove the unauthorized photographs from its commercial,” Smallwood said in the press release.

“It is troubling that Accountability Matters placed the officers of the MNPD in a position where they are potentially violating not only federal law but MNPD policy that prohibits appearing in uniform for political purposes without prior consent. This obvious error by Accountability Matters reinforces our position that people who do not have the proper training, experience and knowledge should not be engaged in the oversight of police practices. Especially when it will cost the Nashville taxpayers $10 Million over five years and not afford equal representation to all Nashville neighborhoods. If you should have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask.”

Five officers, including Hermitage Precinct Cmdr. Preston Brandimore, are depicted in the video, according to the letter, and all of them oppose Amendment 1, The Tennessean said, according to MSN. The paper said Accountability Matters is affiliated with Community Oversight Now.

The Tennessee Star recently ran a commentary by Smallwood in which he explains the complications posed by Amendment 1:

For example, police still do not have body cameras. These devices would provide the desired transparency on police interactions with the public. Nashville needs millions of dollars to pay for this program. However, the massive cost of Amendment #1 would make it far more difficult to afford and maintain this program.

Even if you favor a civilian oversight board, the language in this amendment is beyond concerning. A more carefully thought out proposal would have guaranteed representation to all parts of Nashville. If this poorly drafted amendment were ratified, some neighborhoods would be represented, and others would not. That is unequal and unfair.

Looking beyond this defect, Amendment #1 would give politicians – not voters – the right to appoint the board. There is no regulation that would keep politicians from packing the seats and paid staff positions with relatives, political cronies, and campaign donors. Furthermore, there is nothing in the amendment that would exclude convicted felons or individuals with a professed bias from appointment.

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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.








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3 Thoughts to “Nashville FOP Demands PAC Stop Using Officer Likenesses to Advocate for Civilian Oversight Board”

  1. Horatio Bunce

    Cathy, at some point I expect these phantom, undercover “conservative” officers to make a stand. I make provoking statements because their corrupt leaders are the face the public sees. Like their most recent “boss” Mayor Megan Barry (The photo op was with Governor Bredesen). I guess Forrest was forced to take home that extra $174k in “overtime”. And I guess nobody else suspected anything when he was going to Athens, Greece to CFR globalist seminars. I hope Forrest can get by on his $80k per year pension to pay his “debt to society”.
    When their leadership at every turn are speaking against return to constitutional law in our state legislature – whether that is the right to keep and bear arms, ending the 4th amendment and due-process violating armed robbery called “asset forfeiture”, due-process denying traffic $cameras or protecting criminals within their ranks with judicial diversion or qualified immunity. These are wrong. They are not just wrong, they are unlawful. When I see police/judicial/legislative leadership aligning against the law-abiding people, they have made them an enemy. The folks that would help you. But now the people are mere suspected domestic terrorists that cannot be trusted with constitutional rights. The perception is the silence of these “conservative” officers is consent, if they exist, because we don’t hear from them.

    Congrats on making it out of NY. Would be glad to send Carpetbagger Phil to his lakehouse in exchange.

  2. Horatio Bunce

    I wasn’t confused at all. It is well established that Nashville police stand with Common Core Phil and against non-felon gun owners. Don’t remember any complaints about this photo op:

    1. Cathy Hinners

      Mr. Bunce, with all due respect, because there is a photo of police officers behind a politician for a photo op, does not mean they support him. As a retired police officer from NY, I can say sometimes we didn’t have a choice to participate in things we disagreed with. It appears to me there are several high ranking officers in this photo, which also implies they may have been directed to be there. With the mayor being their boss, you follow orders. I can also assure you a vast majority of police officers tend to be conservative, and in no way agree with this amendment as it is currently proposed.