Metro Police Officer Joshua Lippert will not face criminal charges for the fatal shooting of Jocques Clemmons in February.
But he could still face discipline from the department. Some activists say there’s plenty of evidence to suggest he should be fired.
Among them is Gideon’s Army, a group that earlier this year released a study on the Metro Nashville Police Department traffic stop and vehicle search practices. It found that police target vehicles being drive by African-Americans far more often than other ethnic groups.
The organization’s Rasheedat Fetuga says Lippert was part of that problem.
“There has to be an acknowledgement that there have been several complaints against this officer for the way that he treats black civilians. Because of that, it is definitely imperative that we look at firing Officer Lippert and getting him off of the streets,” Fetuga said.
Fetuga was at TBI headquarters as District Attorney Glenn Funk announced his decision not to charge Lippert.
Funk says it’s clear Lippert faced a threat from Clemmons and acted out of self-defense. Clemmons was carrying a gun when he was shot and, according to an eyewitness and video, pointed it in Lippert’s general direction before the officer opened fire.
But that legal determination did not take into account Lippert’s actions leading up to the fatal confrontation, Funks says. The officer had pulled Clemmons over for running a stop sign, then chased him on foot for several seconds beforehand.
Metro Police will determine whether those actions were appropriate, given the circumstances. The department is currently conducting an administrative review to determine whether Lippert should face any discipline, including losing his job.