Members of Nashville’s Community Oversight Board (COB) have scheduled a special meeting for Wednesday where they plan to call upon Metro Nashville Police (MNPD) to document all uses of “soft empty-hand control” techniques.
This, according to Wednesday’s COB meeting agenda.
The MNPD manual defines “soft empty-hand control” as using physical strength to control people who resist arrest. The manual goes on to say that these techniques include pain compliance pressure points, controlled takedowns, joint manipulation, or simply grabbing a subject.
COB members said they want the MNPD to provide the number of uses of force incidents where soft empty-hand control is the highest force used and there is no allegation of injury.
“Metropolitan Nashville Police Department (MNPD) does not require that officers submit a written report documenting all instances where physical force is used to control a resistant subject,” according to a draft report that COB members plan to discuss Wednesday.
“Currently, when soft empty-hand control tactics are used to take a resistant subject into custody, a written report is only required if an injury occurs. Fifty-one percent of the 50 largest police departments in the United States require that these incidents are reported. These incidents, where soft empty-hand control is the highest force used, comprise one-third of all uses of force for some departments.”
According to the draft report, the COB recommends that MNPD officers using soft empty-hand control techniques complete a Form 108-S to collect information about soft empty-hand control when the force does not rise to the current reporting level.
Organizers have scheduled the special COB special meeting from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday, at the Howard Office Building at 700 Second Avenue South, at the Sonny West Conference Center in Nashville.
According to Wednesday’s agenda sheet, COB Executive Director Jill Fitcheard will also present complaints against six MNPD officers. The agenda sheet did not specify the nature of those complaints.
Nashville Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) members have long said they have serious constitutional concerns about the COB. 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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