Crime/Corruption

Something beautiful from the MNPD (Nashville) Chief of Police

This is the talk all our police need to walk

From The Tennessean: Nashville police chief shares message, responds to questions

At least take a moment to read the email to Chief Anderson from a member of the self-proclaimed “majority” of people in Nashville (read: not, apparently) and Chief Anderson’s astounding reply.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

[Email Received]

Chief Anderson,

I wanted to send you this email to express my frustration and outrage at how the situation of these protesters is being handled in Nashville. The first night protesters marched here after the incidents in Ferguson they never should have been allowed to shut down the interstate. Instead of at least threatening to arrest them, they were served coffee and hot chocolate. I don’t feel that is an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars. It sends a message that they can do whatever they want and will be rewarded. Then, this past week, more protesters march around downtown for 3 or more hours and once again, no arrests, and it took THP to keep them from getting on the interstate again. Saturday night, marching and “die ins” at Opry Mills mall. How long are we going to allow these people to disrupt our city?

I have a son who I have raised to respect police officers and other authority figures, but if he comes to me today and asks “Why are the police allowing this?” I wouldn’t have a good answer. If any other group of people wanted to march around the streets they would have to get a permit weeks or months in advance, and I know it’s not possible to get a permit to obstruct traffic and walk on the interstate.

Please understand I am not trying to disrespect you or your department, I just want myself and my family to feel that our city is safe, and right now we don’t feel that way. Is this going to be allowed to continue until someone gets hurt? Protection of the city should be coming from MNPD, not THP. I also understand that you get direction from the mayor’s office, but these actions are putting the department at disharmony from the majority of the citizens. At some point you are going to have to answer this question to yourself – “Am I following or giving orders that help or hurt the community?” In closing, if these recent actions have been due to pressure from the mayor’s office, please reach out to the people of Nashville, there are many who will gladly contact the mayor’s office as well.

Sincerely, ________ __________

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
[Reply to Email]

Mr. _____________

While I certainly appreciate your offer to intercede on my behalf with our Mayor, you should know that the Mayor has not issued any order, directive or instruction on the matter with which you take issue. All decisions concerning the police department’s reaction to the recent demonstrations have been made within the police department and approved by me. Therefore, any reasons or rationale supporting your proposal as what would be the best approach for all of Nashville, and not just a method of utilizing the police department to enforce a personal agenda, should be directed to me.

In that your thoughts deserve consideration, I will attempt to address some of the issues you have raised:

• Has consideration been given as to whether the response of the police department “help or hurt the community.”

It is our view that every decision made within the police department should be made with the community in mind. Obviously, there are some matters in which we have no discretion. On matters in which we do have discretion, careful consideration is given as to the best course of action, always with the welfare of the general public in mind.

That has been the consideration on this issue. Certainly, in comparing the outcome here in Nashville with what has occurred in some other cities, the results speak for themselves. I stand on the decisions that have been made.

• “These actions are putting the department at disharmony from the majority of the citizens.”

While I don’t doubt that you sincerely believe that your thoughts represent the majority of citizens, I would ask you to consider the following before you chisel those thoughts in stone.

As imperfect humans, we have a tendency to limit our association with other persons to those persons who are most like us. Unfortunately, there is even more of a human tendency to stay within our comfort zone by further narrowing those associations to those persons who share our thoughts and opinions. By doing this we can avoid giving consideration to thoughts and ideas different than our own. This would make us uncomfortable. By considering only the thoughts and ideas we are in agreement with, we stay in our comfort zone. Our own biases get reinforced and reflected back at us leaving no room for any opinion but our own. By doing this, we often convince ourselves that the majority of the world shares opinion and that anyone with another opinion is, obviously, wrong.

It is only when we go outside that comfort zone, and subject ourselves to the discomfort of considering thoughts we don’t agree with, that we can make an informed judgment on any matter. We can still disagree and maintain our opinions, but we can now do so knowing that the issue has been given consideration from all four sides. Or, if we truly give fair consideration to all points of view, we may need to swallow our pride and amend our original thoughts.

And, it is only by giving consideration to the thoughts of all persons, even those that disagree with us, that we can have an understanding as to what constitutes a majority.

• “I just want myself and my family to feel that our city is safe, and right now we don’t feel that way.”

I have to admit, I am somewhat puzzled by this announcement. None of the demonstrators in this city have in any way exhibited any propensity for violence or indicated, even verbally, that they would harm anyone. I can understand how you may feel that your ideologies have been questioned but I am not aware of any occurrence that would give reason for someone to feel physically threatened.

• “I have a son who I have raised to respect police officers and other authority figures, but if he comes to me today and asks “Why are the police allowing this?” I wouldn’t have a good answer.”

It is somewhat perplexing when children are injected into the conversation as an attempt to bolster a position or as an attempt to thwart the position of another. While this is not the type of conversation I ordinarily engage in, here are some thoughts you may find useful as you talk with your son.

First, it is laudable that you are teaching your son respect for the police and other authority figures. However, a better lesson might be that it is the government the police serve that should be respected. The police are merely a representative of a government formed by the people for the people—for all people. Being respectful of the government would mean being respectful of all persons, no matter what their views.

Later, it might be good to point out that the government needs to be, and is, somewhat flexible, especially in situations where there are minor violations of law. A government that had zero tolerance for even minor infractions would prove unworkable in short order.

Although this is unlikely, given your zero tolerance stance, suppose that, by accident or perhaps inattention, you found yourself going 40 miles per hour in a 30 miles per hour zone and that you were stopped by a police officer. Then, after making assurances that licenses were in order and that there were no outstanding warrants, the officer asked you not to speed again and did not issue a citation, but merely sent you on your way.

As you have suggested, a question may come to you from the back seat, “How can I respect the police if they will not enforce the law?” In the event this does occur, here are some facts that might help you answer that question.

In the year 2013, our officers made over four hundred thousand vehicle stops, mostly for traffic violations. A citation was issued in only about one in six of those stops. Five of the six received warnings. This is the police exercising discretion for minor violations of the law. Few, if any, persons would argue that the police should have no discretion.

This is an explanation you might give your son. Take into account, however, that the innocence of children can produce the most profound and probing questions. They often see the world in a very clear and precise manner, their eyes unclouded by the biases life gives us. This could produce the next question. “If you believe that the police should enforce the law at all times, why didn’t you insist that the officer write you a ticket?”

I don’t have a suggestion as to how that should be answered.

I do know, however, that this is a very diverse city. Nashville, and all of America, will be even more diverse when your son becomes an adult. Certainly, tolerance, respect and consideration for the views of all persons would be valuable attributes for him to take into adulthood.

Mr. ______, thank you for taking the time to express your position on this matter. I assure that your thoughts will be given all due consideration. We will continue, however, to make decisions, on this and all matters, that take into account what is best for all of Nashville.

Steve Anderson
Chief of Police

16 replies »

  1. how come nashville got the only good cheif of police? most want to show just how powerfull they are. once peopele start setting fires then action should be taken. once people start hurting people then action should be taken. i wish i lived in nashville

    • you mean you do not want to live in a police state? gee we would not have to make any decisions.

      On Sun, Dec 28, 2014 at 10:02 AM, Scholars and Rogues | Progressive Culture

  2. I am in awe of what this police chief said. I HOPE that more like this man will step into the right places to bring about tolerance of ALL. My jaw dropped when he talked about moving out of our comfort zones. OH is this man right on. Just wow!! I am impressed by this man’s thinking, and if he is leading many, then he is doing a great job!!! Thank you for posting this. Love, Amy

  3. Wow! This guy just vindicated my favourite T-shirt. The shirt reads: “if you don’t like policeman, the next time you’re getting mugged, try calling a hippie!”

    • i am an ex hippie and i will protect my self it is not the polices job to protect you so if you expect it good luck 99.9% of the time it will not happen and you will be hurt or dead. they are only gorified janitors and will clean up the mess. legally they are not responsible for you. that is the law. check it out.

  4. Personally I live in a place with a terrible police Chief, chief Burbank. I live on a street where almost everyone deals speed and shoots it in their arms. I am being vandalized have had my dog poisoned my car alarm consistently set of. I told them exactly how it was being done (the dealing) and that i had license plates for them. i also told them they had a snitch in their department. over many years they seem to find out what is going on in the police department the next day after they tell me they will do something. just lately also, this is over a 20 year span. This is not small quantities it is 1/4, 1/2 and pounds of crank and coke. I know this is cartel stuff and even have an idea of how it is being done and where it is coming from, of course the main people have threatened to kill me after I blew up and told them I was going to shut them down. Of course the police either are pissed and do not want to help me or think I am crazy or maybe on drugs to . Neither is true. He has not had anyone respond. On the death threat they had an officer call and give me a case #. Even if they thought i was crazy they would or should have at least had same one get the licenses just to see if there were any with records. They will not help me period. I will protect my self, but it looks like they have poisoned my dogs again. I put down my older one and the 4 year old seems to not want to eat. I got her check on the first poisoning and all her organs were all right. It cost $200. I do not have the money right now to check her but i am afraid she is going to die. My dogs were like my kids now my dog is. I will not be pushed around and now at 67 do not want any trouble but if any of these folks assault me i will try and put them in the hospital with my hands at best. these people are totally confident and continue to deal. and it has only been a week or so since they poisoned my dogs again. I have had syringes that were bent and useless thrown in my parking lot, I worry about the children, the police could give a f”””. I kept the last needle so I guess I am breaking the law. f***um. I told the chief get a warrant and break into my house and see what happens, I am tiered of them killing innocent people. What have we allowed this country to become because we try and stop people from doing what they want. It makes me sick, legalize drugs all of them prohibition has never worked. I do not hate people unless they have done something terrible to me and these folks have. Karma will get them in the end. The police are no help in fact they are only abusers. I will send one more letter to chief burbank, it is amazing I guess they want to punish me because I am pissed at their reactions or I should say no reaction. It is their job and I will file a formal complain against the chief. many years ago I tried to get narcotics working on some crip gang members that were dealing on the street and they started investigating me. went to see the big folks in the police department with their lawyers and complained about them investigating me and not the crips. they told me people coming up all night long staying for 5 min. and leaving was no proof. then the lady said get us some licenses I told her they were to far away and she ask me to go done and get them. What anPersonally I live in a place with a terrible police Chief, chief Burbank. I live on a street where almost everyone deals speed and shoots it in their arms. I am being vandalized have had my dog poisoned my car alarm consistently set of. I told them exactly how it was being done (the dealing) and that i had license plates for them. i also told them they had a snitch in their department. over many years they seem to find out what is going on in the police department the next day after they tell me they will do something. just lately also, this is over a 20 year span. This is not small quantities it is 1/4, 1/2 and pounds of crank and coke. I know this is cartel stuff and even have an idea of how it is being done and where it is coming from, of course the main people have threatened to kill me after I blew up and told them I was going to shut them down. Of course the police either are pissed and do not want to help me or think I am crazy or maybe on drugs to . Neither is true. He has not had anyone respond. On the death threat they had an officer call and give me a case #. Even if they thought i was crazy they would or should have at least had same one get the licenses just to see if there were any with records. They will not help me period. I will protect my self, but it looks like they have poisoned my dogs again. I put down my older one and the 4 year old seems to not want to eat. I got her check on the first poisoning and all her organs were all right. It cost $200. I do not have the money right now to check her but i am afraid she is going to die. My dogs were like my kids now my dog is. I will not be pushed around and now at 67 do not want any trouble but if any of these folks assault me i will try and put them in the hospital with my hands at best. these people are totally confident and continue to deal. and it has only been a week or so since they poisoned my dogs again. I have had syringes that were bent and useless thrown in my parking lot, I worry about the children, the police could give a f”””. I kept the last needle so I guess I am breaking the law. f***um. I told the chief get a warrant and break into my house and see what happens, I am tiered of them killing innocent people. What have we allowed this country to become because we try and stop people from doing what they want. It makes me sick, legalize drugs all of them prohibition has never worked. I do not hate people unless they have done something terrible to me and these folks have. Karma will get them in the end. The police are no help in fact they are only abusers. I will send one more letter to chief burbank, it is amazing I guess they want to punish me because I am pissed at their reactions or I should say no reaction. It is their job and I will file a formal complain against the chief. many years ago I tried to get narcotics working on some crip gang members that were dealing on the street and they started investigating me. went to see the big folks in the police department with their lawyers and complained about them investigating me and not the crips. they told me people coming up all night long staying for 5 min. and leaving was no proof. then the lady said get us some licenses I told her they were to far away and she ask me to go done and get them. What an asshole to put me in danger after they harassed me. I told her it was her job and nothing was done. I have had terrible experience with the police in salt lake city. they are absolutely the worst. protect and severe them selves. Do not move to salt lake if you want any sort of police protection the blue code and serve you self are their motto.

    • Wish I had some advice, but I don’t. Getting on the ‘laws’ bad side is never good, I pray your dog makes a full recovery and you can find peace of mind.

      • one of the speed freaks smiled at me when they left a few minutes ago, they put up a fence to keep their dogs away from the road. personally i will not hurt an animal, they are innocent. if one of these folks get within striking range i will seak my vengence. i have no control what happens but they should have killed me that is all i know.

Leave us a reply. All replies are moderated according to our Comment Policy (see "About S&R")

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s