NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The family of Jocques Clemmons held a press conference with the Nashville chapter of the NAACP and Justice for Jocques Coalition Thursday evening.
They addressed District Attorney General Glenn Funk’s decision not to press charges against the officer who shot and killed the 31-year-old in February.
“The family does not accept the version of facts presented by the DA,” said NAACP lawyer Michael Hoskins. “They do not accept the version of facts presented by TBI. This family will continue to fight for justice for Jocques.”
The investigative report says Officer Joshua Lippert acted in self-defense after his statement corroborated with a witness’ statement, who reported seeing Clemmons reach for a gun.
“There is no camera angle showing the alleged gun,” Hoskins continued in the conference. “There is absolutely nothing but Officer Lippert’s testimony and a testimony of another witness who we believe could not even see.”
The family said they met with General Funk before he made his announcement publicly, but after their press conference, they wanted to meet with him again.
Funk did meet with the family, the Coalition and the NAACP at First Missionary Baptist in North Nashville.
During the meeting, Clemmons’ sister Aja Tate left abruptly.
“I don’t understand why Funk couldn’t bring second-degree charges against the officer,” she told News 2. “At least let it go to trial. At least let the jury decide besides basing it off of one eye witness. Funk is stuck on this one eye witness, and that’s what it’s gonna be. Her word against the video basically.”
Funk says he was there to listen and pray with the family. He also says he understands the family is grieving.
The Justice for Jocques Coalition released a full statement saying:
Today Metro District Attorney Glenn Funk made a decision that impacted the family of Jocques Clemmons and will serve as the example for how the cases of Metro Nashville Police officers who kill citizens in the line of duty will be handled in the future. We had hoped that he would do the right thing and seek justice on behalf of this family. Unfortunately, he has decided to set the precedent that MNPD officers who shoot fleeing citizens in the back will not be held accountable for their actions.
Although the MNPD has obstructed the process from the beginning, that is no excuse for ignoring the evidence which clearly shows that Jocques Clemmons posed no threat to Officer Lippert and that Officer Lippert’s actions were wrong and wantonly and capriciously violent. We do not need trigger happy officers running amok in our communities. They will only be emboldened now that they see that there will be no consequences for their actions.
The Coalition will continue to fight on behalf of the Clemmons family for the expeditious fulfillment of the demands which we have presented to the Mayor and the City Council. Particularly at this point, we see no reason why the police report which documents the police response to the incident cannot be released without further delay. Furthermore, we continue to demand the immediate firing of Officer Lippert. He simply cannot be allowed to be set loose upon the public where he will, without doubt, continue to brutalize and abuse innocent citizens at his whim.
We are grateful for the support we have received from the people of Nashville. Thank you for standing with us. Let’s take this disappointment in stride and continue to fight for the right of every citizen to live in a neighborhood where they feel safe and secure.
The Nashville chapter of Black Lives Matter also released a statement Thursday, saying, “we know fully the long history of charges being dropped, cases dismissed, or officers not being indicted when it comes to Black people being murdered by the police. For this reason, many in the city are not shocked, but instead angry.” Click here to read their statement in full.