Video: Nashville cop fatally shoots armed man, NAACP wants probe
Nashville police say the man was carrying a loaded pistol and had charged at Officer Josh Lippert
By Jonathan Mattise
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The NAACP on Monday called for an expedited investigation by Nashville's district attorney general and possibly federal agencies after a white officer shot and killed an African-American man who police say was armed while fleeing a traffic stop.
At a news conference with tearful, irate family members of Jocques Scott Clemmons, NAACP Nashville branch President Ludye N. Wallace also called for immediate action from city officials on plans to equip police with body cameras. Mayor Megan Barry plans to propose $12 million for the cameras in the 2017-18 Metro budget.
"If we had on body cameras, I won't have to tell you what the officer said to me," Wallace said. "I won't have to tell you what he did to me. He will not have to say what I said or what I did. It will be there for the protection of the officers and the citizens of the community."
Clemmons, 31, was shot in the back and died at the hospital Friday.
According to police, Clemmons had parked his car outside a public housing development and was getting out when Nashville Officer Josh Lippert drove up to talk about him running a stop sign. Clemmons was carrying a pistol and charged at Lippert, then ran through the parking lot.
Police said Lippert caught up with Clemmons, the two had a physical confrontation and Clemmons refused orders to drop his gun. Believing he was in imminent danger, Lippert fired three times at Clemmons, police said.
Police said video from the housing development shows that Clemmons "abruptly charged at Officer Lippert, making full contact with his body."
Lippert was in uniform but driving an unmarked police car, according to police.
Nashville Police said that "it is not known why Clemmons reacted the way he did to Officer Lippert. The fact that he was illegally carrying a gun in public housing may have been the reason."
Lippert has been placed on an administrative assignment while the shooting is investigated.
Clemmons was convicted of a cocaine felony in 2014 and received an eight-year probated sentence. As a convicted felon, it would have been a violation of both state and federal law to possess the pistol, according to the statement.
Family members said Clemmons' history shouldn't have mattered in an altercation that ended with his death Friday. They said he was a good father and son.
"Y'all took him from me," said his mother, Sheila Clemmons Lee. "His background didn't have nothing to do with what took place on Friday. We all have backgrounds."
Gunman shot by MNPD officer on S. 6th St. in Cayce public housing development. Gunman at Vanderbilt Med Ctr. This is his weapon. pic.twitter.com/sM0ONPe5fh— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) February 10, 2017