In the aftermath of last week’s shooting of Daniel Hambrick by a Nashville police officer, a petition to establish independent civilian oversight of the police is closer than ever to being on the ballot this November.
Organizers need about 6,000 signatures by Thursday to qualify, and they say they’ve seen more interest because of last week’s shooting.
A team of canvassers went door-to-door in John Henry Hale Apartments, near where Hambrick was fatally shot.
“People do believe that the police department needs to be directly overseen by the community,” said Theeda Murphy, an organizer for Community Oversight Now.
There hasn’t been an official count, but Murphy says the group is only a few hundred signatures away from its goal. If they succeed, the organizers will transition to campaigning this fall. They argue that many other cities across the country already have community oversight and that it helps create more trust in the police.
But the police union and Metro Police have criticized the oversight proposal, in part because it would ban current and recently retired officers from serving on the board. They say that the board is not necessary.