Trans women of color and formerly incarcerated individuals in Nashville, among other groups, must help city officials monitor members of the Metro Nashville Police Department, said members of the city’s Community Oversight Board.
COB members said this in a letter they sent to Mayor John Cooper this week. Cooper invited members of the COB to serve on a Use of Force Committee. COB members accepted.
Members of the COB said they “strongly recommend” that the following groups of people, among others, participate:
• Homeless people
• LGBTQ (with a specific focus on Trans women of color)
• Senior citizens
• Faith leaders
• Formerly incarcerated individuals
• Racially-diverse Nashville natives.
“We strongly believe the addition of these community groups is indispensable to the success of this Committee and will be of great value to the team. We also feel it necessary to note the importance of ensuring that Committee members are not currently seated elected officials,” COB members told Cooper.
“For the Community Oversight Board to be fully engaged in this committee there must be intentional space for the voice of the community to be heard both before and during the course of the scheduled meetings of the committee. The recommendations of this Committee should offer a clear understanding of when each recommendation will take effect (no longer than 30 days without special exception) so that the success of these goals are both expected and measured.”
As The Tennessee Star reported last month, COB members plan to help city officials find Nashville’s next police chief. Chief Steve Anderson will retire in likely six months’ time. This, as reported, after left-wing activists and Metro Council members pushed for either Anderson to resign or for Cooper to fire him.
As reported, Anderson would not meet with COB members, and that caused friction. Nashville Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) 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.”
As The Star reported in April, COB members demanded that police officers stop asking people about their immigration and citizenship status.
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