NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A white police officer who shot and killed an armed African-American man in Nashville in February wants the investigative report on the fatal confrontation to be released to the public, his attorney said Tuesday.
Officer Joshua Lippert has been investigated by Nashville police and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Last week the TBI and a prosecutor took the unusual step of asking a court to order the release of the TBI’s report on the shooting.
“Officer Lippert acted reasonably in a situation that was tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving,” his attorney, John M.L. Brown, said in a statement. “He has cooperated fully with all officials who have investigated this matter, and he welcomes the release of the TBI report.”
The court petition from the TBI and a prosecutor says it’s in the best interest of the public that the investigative report be made available immediately. However, the petition doesn’t say why and officials have declined to comment any further.
Under Tennessee law, TBI’s investigative files are confidential and cannot be released without a court order or a subpoena. A court hearing has been set for May 22 to determine whether the report should be made public.
Authorities have said Lippert shot 31-year-old Jocques Clemmons following a traffic stop.
The public outcry after the shooting resulted in major changes in policing in Nashville. Davidson County District Attorney Glenn Funk announced that the TBI would investigate all fatal police shootings going forward, instead of the police department investigating itself.
After the shooting, Nashville’s Metro Council called for the “immediate purchase of police body cameras. And Mayor Megan Barry has proposed spending $23 million to equip police officers with body cameras and install dash cams in their vehicles.
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