NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Less than a week after authorities decided not to charge Officer Joshua Lippert in the fatal shooting of Jocques Clemmons, activists took their message to Vanderbilt University through a forum.
Tuesday’s event was the third and final public hearing hosted by Gideon’s Army.
The meeting was part of the Truth and Reconciliation Project where the group discussed the Driving While Black report.
That report was released by the group months ago. Gideon’s Army claimed they found substantial evidence of systemic racial profiling by Metro police.
Tuesday featured a host of speakers, including a number of residents who gave testimonials stating they had been victims.
“We want to make sure that we’re telling these stories, that you put faces with names, and experiences,” explained T. Devan Franklin before the meeting. “So that some significant, systemic change can take place.”
“Even though we may be on the wrong side of the tracks, so to speak, we’re still people,” added Michael Harris. “We still have a life, we still have a dream, and we’d like to be a part of what Nashville is becoming now.”
Though there was a chair reserved for Metro police, the department was absent from the meeting.
Chief of Police Steve Anderson has previously responded to the report, categorically denying its findings.
Gideon’s Army, among other things, has been especially outspoken on outfitting Metro officers with body cameras. The move has been called a priority by both the police chief, and Mayor Megan Barry.