Metro Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson said this week that he accepts the #8CANTWAIT principles that regulate police officers’ behavior on-the-job.
Anderson said this in a press release this week.
This, even though Campaign Zero, a group that says it ultimately wants to defund the police, created these guidelines.
“Our police department embraces these principles, and we will continue to review, improve and strengthen MNPD policies that guide our officers,” Anderson said in the press release.
Those #8CANTWAIT principles, among other things, require de-escalation and ban chokeholds and strangleholds as a means to subdue alleged perpetrators. They also promote a “Duty to Intervene” for any officer witnessing what they believe is an unjustified use of force.
But Nashville Police already abide by these #8CANTWAIT guidelines, said Nashville Fraternal Order of Police President James Smallwood.
“The reality is all of those things were already a part of our policy. He [Chief Anderson] embraced the #8CANTWAIT because he’s had those in his policy for years and decades. The notion that this is some sort of new direction for our city or for our department is misleading,” Smallwood told The Tennessee Star this week.
“We are a professional department. We have been a professional department. Chokeholds have been banned. Intervention has been acquired. All of those things that are in the #8CANTWAIT policies have existed for years with the Nashville Metropolitan Police Department. And it will continue to, because we are professionals.”
As The Star reported last week, members of the Memphis City Council want their local police officers and sheriff’s deputies to do what Campaign Zero says.
Campaign Zero members stated their agenda on their #8CANTWAIT website
“While we stand by the idea that any political leaders truly invested in protecting black lives should adopt the #8CANTWAIT policies, we also believe the end goal for all of us should be absolute liberation from policing, and encourage visitors to the site to support the range of organizers who are making progress in employing other strategies towards abolition: defunding the police and reinvesting in community,” according to the #8CANTWAIT website.
“If you are from a place where #8CANTWAIT is being considered, demand steps towards defunding and abolition. If you are a legislator who has adopted these policies or are considering it, please know that it will take many strategies to move beyond policing and use this time to learn more and listen to the needs of your community.”
Smallwood said he’s “vaguely aware” of Campaign Zero. He also said the idea that defunding the police will solve society’s problems “isn’t based in reality.”
“Their argument doesn’t stand to reason. Funding more community services for mental health crises’ and things of that nature, yes, we should probably be looking at that, but defunding the police in order to accomplish that is like robbing Peter to pay Paul. You will not solve society’s ills by taking away from law enforcement. We are a nation of law and order, and we must continue to maintain those laws,” Smallwood said.
“We will always have law enforcement, and we will always be there. The notion that we have been overfunded for years is patently false. We are already underfunded. We are already understaffed. We welcome the folks who want to come in with mental health crises’ and those kinds of community efforts, but those should be in addition — and not in subtraction of — law enforcement efforts.”
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