Several council members in Tennessee have called for the resignation of a police chief after warrants were issued for two community activists and then later rescinded.
Metro Council member Freddie O’Connell last week urged Nashville Mayor John Cooper to request the resignation of Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson, news outlets reported.
O’Connell tweeted, “We have reached the point of absurdity,” referencing warrants issued for Nashville activists Justin Jones and Jeneisha Harris on riot charges.
— Freddie #StayHome O'Connell (@freddieoconnell) June 4, 2020
Metro police announced the arrest warrants for Jones and Harris on Thursday, stating the pair were connected to Saturday’s vandalism of a police cruiser. Police said the activists walked on the car, damaging the vehicle.
Harris tweeted that she would turn herself in and said, “If something happens to me, I did not kill myself.” Jones also took to Twitter, stating the warrants were “false” and “politically motivated.”
Turning myself in now…
If something happens to me, I did not kill myself.
— Jeneisha Harris (@JeneishaCHarris) June 4, 2020
Three hours after the announcement, Metro police recalled the warrants after reviewing “additional information” received by the department and District Attorney General Glenn Funk.
The Tennessee Star asked Nashville Police spokesman Don Aaron if Cooper intervened in the matter.
“Absolutely not,” Aaron said.
Council member Dave Rosenberg and at-large council member Bob Mendes have also called for Anderson’s resignation.
O’Connell said he was aware of the rescinded warrants.
“I think they realized that perhaps they had errored,” O’Connell said.
It’s unclear whether Jones or Harris will still be charged with rioting crimes.
Jones, as The Star reported, has had prior run-ins with law enforcement, one of which was for an alleged assault of then-Speaker of the House Glen Casada. And another for allegedly disrupting a Marsha Blackburn rally in Nashville in 2018 that featured U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.
According to Jones’ account that day, Cooper would not agree to Jones’ demands.
Jones later told the crowd of thousands that “you don’t just vote out your oppressor. You overthrow them.”
As The Tennessee Star reported last year, Anderson had a lot of friction with members of the Community Oversight Board after he would not meet with them.
As The Star reported, Nashville voters approved a civilian oversight board over police in 2018.
City officials created the board.
As reported, Nashville Fraternal Order of Police members have long said they have serious constitutional concerns about the board. FOP members have even said the board is “set up for some means of retaliation and retribution for a problem that doesn’t exist.”
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