Previous Community Oversight Board (COB) member Ovid Timothy Hughes somehow skirted the Tennessee Code’s standards for COB membership. Hughes isn’t a registered voter – he’s a convicted felon. That begs the question: the COB’s purpose is to ensure police accountability on issues such as misconduct, but what happens when the members themselves aren’t being held accountable?
The Tennessee Secretary of State’s office confirmed with The Tennessee Star that Hughes isn’t an eligible voter. They explained that he was purged in 2008 for a felony conviction. This corroborates with details The Star reported on Friday. Hughes was arrested and charged for mail fraud, spending over $78,000 on items such as computer equipment and designer clothing using stolen credit card and private account information from a former employer. Read More
The Community Oversight Board (COB) received four new members – all bringing similar perspectives and agendas concerning police. Metro Nashville City Council voted on the nominees during a meeting on Tuesday.
None of the nominees from the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) – former mayoral candidate Dr. Carol Swain, former FOP President Mark Wynn, community members Mary Byrd and Brandy Holloway – were selected. Of all the votes cast, Holloway received no votes, Byrd only received one, Swain only received two, and Wynn received ten. Read More
Metro Nashville City Council’s Community Oversight Board (COB) might continue to behave more like a police oversight board. During a special interview meeting on Thursday, the council’s Committee on Rules, Confirmations, and Public Elections raised objections to only one nominee: Dr. Carol Swain. The committee also posed slanted questions to those nominees that had law enforcement relationships or affiliations.
Swain stated that her qualifications include her 18 years as a Vanderbilt political science and law professor, her degrees in law and criminal justice, her two appointments to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission Tennessee Advisory Committee, her courses taught on civil rights issues, and her multiple testimonies before Congress on civil rights issues. Additionally, Swain noted that while she was at Princeton University, her two sons experienced racial profiling and her intervention led to an investigation that ended with police reforms not just in the town of Princeton but within the community. However, the committee voted that those weren’t proper qualifications. Read More
Certain Nashville activists will continue their “defund the police” rhetoric despite the bravery that law enforcement officers displayed before and after last week’s explosion downtown, said Nashville Fraternal Order of Police President James Smallwood. As reported, a massive Christmas Day explosion damaged at least 41 businesses on Second Avenue and collapsed one building. Nashville Mayor John Cooper praised six uniformed Metro Nashville Police officers who he said saved several lives after they determined that a parked RV in that area was about to detonate. Read More
The Community Oversight Board (COB) approved a report issuing use of force consent decree recommendations. Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) will work with the COB to implement these recommendations. Read More
Mayor John Cooper tasked members within the Community Oversight Board to explore use of force policies following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
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. Read More
Members of the grassroots coalition that wrote, petitioned, and campaigned for Nashvillians to create the Metro Community Oversight Board this week compared the idea of defunding police to some of history’s greatest civil rights accomplishments.
And members of this group, Community Oversight Nashville, also pushed socialism and communism as the best way forward for blacks. Read More
The Nashville Fraternal Order of Police has endorsed mayoral candidate John Cooper. Cooper currently serves as an at-large Metro Council member. Nashville Fraternal Order of Police President James Smallwood told The Tennessee Star Thursday that FOP members voted to endorse Cooper. Smallwood would not say how many people voted… Read More
Tennessee and Nashville officials say they do not expect Amazon’s brush-off of New York to affect the retail behemoth’s decision to open an operations center in Music City. Amazon last Thursday said it would not build its second headquarters in New York City, called HQ2, because of pushback there, The… Read More
Nashville’s police oversight board may receive its own oversight – before it even launches. Ever since Nashville-Davidson County voters approved the $10 million-plus oversight board in a Nov. 6 referendum titled Amendment 1, prompting concerns from police officers, leading Tennessee Republican legislators have set their sights on the initiative. The… Read More
Metro Nashville plans to roll out body cameras on all officers in 2019, adding another costly layer of regulation to law enforcement. A few officers began testing body cams last week, Nashville Public Radio said. The city and community advocates have pushed for this oversight since at least 2016. The… Read More
The disruptions at last weekend’s Marsha Blackburn rally, and protestors’ lack of understanding of the law, make a good case against a proposed Civilian Oversight Board, said the president of the Nashville Fraternal Order of Police. The belligerent attitudes of the people who caused those disruptions also make a good… Read More
A civilian oversight board for the Nashville Metro Police Department “sounds like a warm and fuzzy,” but one expert says that is not the case. James Smallwood is president of the Nashville Fraternal Order of Police. “People immediately think, ‘Well, that’s a great idea,’” Smallwood told The Tennessee Star this… Read More
On Monday, the Nashville Fraternal Order of Police dealt a blow to the campaign of Acting Mayor David Briley, the front runner in the May 24 special mayoral election, when they decided not to endorse him. “The FOP Mayoral endorsement process has concluded. Our endorsement rules require that a candidate… Read More