The Metro Nashville Police Department is sharing a song written by a member of the police force.
In “Your Name,” Sgt. Henry Particelli sings from an officer’s perspective about what it’s like to work in law enforcement amid nationwide protests against police brutality. The song is written as a message to a person killed by police.
“I wish we all loved one another just the same / But we’re too caught up in our online debates,” the white sergeant sings. “Between politics, race and religion / It seems we’re all in one big no-win competition. / We need to try to see things through each other’s eyes / Until hate becomes the only thing that dies.”
The Metro Nashville Police Department held a press conference Thursday morning to play the song and is sharing “Your Name” on social media. A description of the music video says the song is “based on recent events which lead to the unjustified loss of lives in our nations communities” and was written “to heal hearts.”
In his song, Particelli condemns killings by police, but says police need to keep doing their jobs.
“I’m angry, I’m sad. I’m downright ashamed. / Believe me when I say that we’re not all that way,” he sings. “We can’t just quit.We got so much to prove. / ‘Cause united we stand, but divided we lose. / I’m sure you never wanted this kind of fame. / I’m so sorry that’s how we know your name.”
Recent protests have exposed the divide between Nashville’s mostly white police department and Black residents who believe the department hasn’t done enough to keep them safe.
About 200 people spoke at a recent Metro Council meeting, urging the city to cut law enforcement spending and reinvest parts of MNPD’s budget in education and social services. After a lengthy debate, the council ultimately voted to increase funding to the police department.
This isn’t the first time Particelli has written a song about policing: Last summer, he recorded “We Are The Good Guys” shortly after Metro Police Officer John Anderson died in a car crash while responding to a call on the Fourth of July. The teenager who was driving the car that hit him has been charged with vehicular homicide and will be tried as an adult.
Particelli committed to donating all the proceeds from that tribute to a general fund for fallen officers’ families and police with special needs.
Samantha Max is a Report for America corps member.