NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Metro-Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson addressed the media Thursday after both local and state officials walked through the case involving one of his officers to explain their decision not to criminally charge Joshua Lippert in the shooting death of Jocques Clemmons.
Anderson said just because Lippert has been cleared of criminal charges by the state, the situation is not over.
“I have a decision to make. General Funk’s already made a decision, which I do concur with, but I have a decision to make at some point, actually on a higher plane that Officer Lippert will have to be higher criteria,” the chief told media.
“Not just whether there were circumstances where he was in violation of the law, but did he follow all of our policies? That was not completed. There will be a Use of Force Board that reviews everything, and I will go over their report and their recommendations to make a decision,” Anderson continued.
TIMELINE: Police shooting of Jocques Clemmons
He noted that he doesn’t have a time frame for when that decision will be made.
“As I understand, the Use of Force Board is going to convene later this month, and then as they issue their report, I’ll go over it. Sometimes I send it back for further clarification or for further investigation sometimes, so I really don’t have a time frame,” Anderson explained.
The chief told media that the district attorney’s decision doesn’t necessarily “exonerate” Lippert, saying, “I don’t think ‘exonerated’ is the term to use. That’s not a classification in a criminal, legal sense.”
“The Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) has completed their report,” he continued. “But keep in mind those are recommendations. Those are recommendations to be viewed by the board, and there are many times that the board asks for clarification, so just because one body has looked at it, the OPA, and concluded there was no policy violation, the Use of Force Board will dig deeper.”
Chief Anderson said the board also looks at training and how the department could possibly do things better.
“There’s always a lot to do. It may be that they completely concur and issue me a report in short order, and that I completely concur. It may be that they have further questions and I have further questions,” he explained.
Lippert remains on administrative assignment, which means he’s working in an administrative area for the time being. He’s expected to remain working in that capacity until the chief makes his final decision regarding any possibly policy violations on Lippert’s part.