Metro Minority Caucus addresses shooting of Jocques Clemmons

Jocques Clemmons (Courtesy: GoFundMe) and Officer Joshua Lippert (Courtesy: Metro Nashville Police Department)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Members of the Metro Minority Caucus made a strong statement Monday in the wake of the district attorney’s decision not to charge Officer Joshua Lippert in the shooting death of Jocques Clemmons.

Clemmons was shot three times in the back on Feb. 10 after a traffic stop turned into an apparent scuffle and the officer reported seeing a gun.

The caucus says it is “disappointed and concerned” that Metro police reportedly concluded it was a justifiable homicide within hours before a full investigation was performed.

The caucus also says “it’s concerning to us that Officer Lippert was involved in previous episodes of misconduct – including the use of physical force upon a black motorist in October 2015 – resulting in 20 days of suspension for various police code violations.”

The statement goes on to say the Metro Minority Caucus was never notified before Nashville DA General Glenn Funk announced Lippert wouldn’t be charged criminally by the state, a move the group calls “disheartening.”

“It is reflective of not just how the ‘IT’ city views and treats its black citizens, but also black elected officials,” the caucus says.

“The black community is owed this courtesy. The Clemmons family is owed this courtesy. A black man was slain and no black member of the Council was contacted in advance of the announcement exonerating the officer,” it continues.

The minority caucus concludes by saying they ask plans be implemented in the future to “address these shortcomings.”

The Metro Minority Caucus also hopes to be “invited to the table from the beginning of discussions to the end of implementation.”

Read their statement in its entirety below:

Members of the Metropolitan Minority Caucus issue the following statement concerning the announcement about the investigation of the shooting death of Jocques Clemmons.

The members of the Metropolitan Minority Caucus are disappointed and concerned that the MNPD police report had concluded that the shooting of Jocques Clemmons was a justifiable homicide within hours after the incident occurred and before a full investigation was performed. Our hearts go out to the Clemmons family upon hearing the District Attorney’s announcement that Officer Joshua Lippert will not be charged in the shooting death of Jocques Clemmons. It is also concerning to us that Officer Lippert was involved in previous episodes of misconduct – including the use of physical force upon a black motorist in October 2015 – resulting in 20 days of suspension for various police code violations.

In the aftermath of this tragedy, we paused out of respect for the Clemmons family to ensure that the family’s pain was not politicized. However, we are disheartened that we, as elected officials representing the black community of Nashville, were never notified of the pending announcement. It is reflective of not just how the “IT” city views and treats its black citizens, but also black elected officials. The black community is owed this courtesy. The Clemmons family is owed this courtesy. A black man was slain and no black member of the Council was contacted in advance of the announcement exonerating the officer. In the future, we ask that plans be implemented to address these shortcomings and that the Metropolitan Minority Caucus be invited to the table from the beginning of discussions to the end of implementation.

Click here to read more about the Jocques Clemmons case.