Republican Lawmakers Say They Could Weigh In On Nashville’s New Police Oversight Board | Nashville Public Radio

Republican Lawmakers Say They Could Weigh In On Nashville’s New Police Oversight Board

Dec 17, 2018

The voter-approved Community Oversight Board in Nashville could be a point of contention when the state legislature reconvenes next month.

Republican leaders have recently expressed  concerns that could stop the board in its tracks.

Incoming House Majority Leader William Lamberth said he’s been talking to Nashville Mayor David Briley and law enforcement about the extent of the board’s authority. He said there are already systems in place that hold police officers accountable. 

"To spend an enormous amount of money to have an additional oversight board to do this, does appear to me to be a colossal waste of money," Lamberth said.

Lamberth is also worried about the board having the power to subpoena witnesses. And his concerns are shared by the presumed Speaker of the House Glen Casada.

Theeda Murphy, a core organizer behind the campaign to create the Community Oversight Board, recognizes the possibility of a reversal from the legislature, although she is hopeful lawmakers will respect the results of the referendum. 

"The people of Nashville have spoken overwhelmingly that they feel that whatever mechanisms are in place within the system, [they] are not enough to address police misconduct," Murphy said.

She said that, if the legislature tries to stop the Community Oversight Board, it will be on the mayor and Metro Council to defend it.