Nashville FOP opposes proposed civilan police review board

Nov 13, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Nashville’s Fraternal Order of Police is pushing back against a metro council proposal that would create a civilian board to review police actions.

Although some council members expressed serious reservations about the proposal during the November 7 meeting, the bill by Councilman Scott Davis was allowed to move ahead to a second of three readings on a voice vote.

Metro Councilman Scott Davis
Credit nashville.gov

Current FOP President James Smallwood says his member officers are strongly opposed this type of civilian review.

“I think it is a solution in search of a problem that does not exist in Nashville. And for whatever perceived problem there is, this would not be a solution.”

Smallwood contends there are already several layers of civilian review, including the Civil Service Commission, the council itself, and the grand jury system. 

For his part, Councilman Davis noted that he personally had been racially profiled and falsely arrested by a Metro Officer. Davis grew agitated when motions were made to defer action on his bill so that the issue could be studied further.

“We’ve been screaming out there for years in this community. I mean, I’m sorry, it’s not politically correct and I apologize, but dangit somethings gotta happen.”

The bill won’t get a second reading until January. Davis promised to get more input from the community in the meantime, including from law enforcement.

Story Resources:

  • Video of Metro Council consideration of Davis proposal (begins at 3:05:00)
  • Full interview with FOP President Smallwood linked below