Nashville Policing Study Coming Soon, But Not Fast Enough For Some | Nashville Public Radio

Nashville Policing Study Coming Soon, But Not Fast Enough For Some

Oct 24, 2018

This story was updated at 10:30 a.m.

A highly anticipated analysis of Nashville police traffic stops has suddenly become a hot-button political matter.

Groups that want the city to create a community oversight board to review police misconduct — which is on the ballot as Amendment 1 — are demanding that findings from the New York-based Policing Project be made public before voting ends Nov. 6.

The research group was asked to analyze the effectiveness of traffic stops on fighting crime and has been scheduled to present its work Nov. 19.

But some preliminary findings by the group were shared in September, and that has prompted Amendment 1 supporters like the Rev. Davie Tucker Jr. to question the timing of the full release.

“They have something,” he said of the mayor’s office. “Anything they have could help keep this charter amendment from being and becoming so divisive.”

Tucker, a pastor and member of the Metro Human Relations Commission, said the work of the Policing Project has been built up as a “definitive” analysis. It follows up on an oft-cited report by a local nonprofit, but is seen as coming from a neutral group.

“Everybody’s been waiting on this report,” Tucker said. “Good people want good information so they can try to make good decisions.”

But the Policing Project and the mayor’s office told WPLN that only preliminary findings were shared with Mayor David Briley and select staffers.

And on Wednesday, Metro responded to a formal public records request by saying that no notes, memos or draft reports exist from the September meeting. 

“There’s no report. We’re not hiding anything,” said Marcus Floyd, public safety advisor to the mayor, told WPLN earlier in the week.

He described a meeting with a data analyst and said it would “do a disservice” to try to recount what was said.

“But the mayor subsequently has said that he wants everybody to receive this information at the same time and to receive a full report. He doesn’t want it to be released sort of haphazard, or piecemeal,” Floyd said.

He said the Nov. 19 presentation will be open to the public, with members of the Policing Project available to answer questions.