In Nashville, a police chief answers a critic

If you’ve been dismayed by the unprofessional, petty and ultimately anti-democratic behavior of police and police-union officials in New York, Ferguson, St. Louis and Cleveland, this might help restore your faith in those sworn to serve and protect us.

It comes from Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson. A Nashville citizen had written Anderson expressing “frustration and outrage”  about how gently the Nashville police had treated peaceful protesters in the wake of the Michael Brown controversy.  The outraged citizen suggested that such tactics had been imposed on Anderson and his department by the city’s mayor, and he urged the chief to take a more aggressive, punitive approach. (The citizen’s full email can be found here.)

Here’s how Anderson, a 39-year veteran of his city’s department, responded:

635551970595530337-chiefanderson

Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson

 

“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

 

Thank you, Chief Anderson.

Reader Comments 0

880 comments
JoeBobJoe
JoeBobJoe

Come on, stands for no life,    Answer the question,    how is the basemen ?   "rock did you crawl out from"    Did your parents have any kids that lived?"

JoeBobJoe
JoeBobJoe

Isn't this the same pos chief that steadfastly maintained that the rash of black flash mobs in Nashville, where the kids beat white folks,  had nothing to do with race last summer?

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@JoeBobJoe

The last time I heard some dumb old white guy fretting about flash mobs, it was our Scouty McWhineypants drooling all over the joint.

You kin to him?

straker
straker

Tiberius - "you'll remove your head from your derriere"


Typical.


You either can't, or won't address my observations with any meaningful counterpoints.

straker
straker

fiftythree - "blame white people"


A portion of the liberal white community and, it seems, the great majority of the black community, subscribe to that view.


For the white liberals, its to atone for wrongs done long before most of them were born.


For the black community, its a grim determination to hold on to their victim status, no matter who gets hurt.

Tiberius-Constitutionus
Tiberius-Constitutionus

@straker One day - maybe - you'll remove your head from your derriere.  Currently, it is buried so far up there, a powerful mechanical machine may be required before you even sniff daylight.

fiftythreepercenter
fiftythreepercenter

Liberals solution to the plight of the black community = blame white people


40 years of failure in that approach, yet they swear it's going to start working someday soon!!!  (Meanwhile, please just keep voting "D".  Thanks for your support!!

Normd
Normd

And with that...SHEETZ

Normd
Normd

LBB is a boy who has done nothing for this country but complain about a President, who, despite the odds against him has become our first mixed race President.  This boy, who has reaped the benefits of being an American, will do nothing to pay back his good fortune.  I pity him, but as I said before...He DOES make me laugh out loud.

straker
straker

Barry


You can thank a Republican Congress bent on stonewalling Obama at every turn for many of these things you are so unhappy about.

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

Me:  The poor were better off on Our President Bush's watch

std:  It's not always about which guy happened to have been installed at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave

----------

But sometimes it is.

Elections have consequences.

Like higher taxes, over-regulation, unfunded government mandates on businesses, disrespect for the rule of law, and regulatory uncertainty.

Which explains the pathetic loss of family net worth, lower family income, and increasing income inequaaaaaaaality since 2009.

Nobody_Knows
Nobody_Knows

@LilBarryBailout


According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities:

In 2007, the share of after-tax income going to the top 1 percent hit its highest level (17.1 percent) since 1979, while the share going to the middle one-fifth of Americans shrank to its lowest level during this period (14.1 percent).

Between 1979 and 2007, average after-tax incomes for the top 1 percent rose by 281 percent after adjusting for inflation — an increase in income of $973,100 per household — compared to increases of 25 percent ($11,200 per household) for the middle fifth of households and 16 percent ($2,400 per household) for the bottom fifth.

If all groups’ after-tax incomes had grown at the same percentage rate over the 1979-2007 period, middle-income households would have received an additional $13,042 in 2007 and families in the bottom fifth would have received an additional $6,010.

In 2007, the average household in the top 1 percent had an income of $1.3 million, up $88,800 just from the prior year; this $88,800 gain is well above the total 2007 income of the average middle-income household ($55,300).



Nobody_Knows
Nobody_Knows

@LilBarryBailout


Lying Blathering Boy


Since you are stuck on this since 2009 number tell the blog exactly what Obama implemented in the first few months that drove those numbers.

Show the actual bills and regs and corresponding trends.

Start with Jan 09. 


Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

I post this -- once again! -- not to make any points about how white Dems are especially more righteous on racial issues than are Republicans (particularly since the distinction really isn't anything for Dems to brag about), but rather to direct folks to the polling data questions/results themselves.

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/are-white-republicans-more-racist-than-white-democrats/

It is worth noting that a stubborn 15% or so of white folks do think blacks are less intelligent. And that around 35% of whites think blacks are more likely to be "lazy" than "hard-working." And a startling 50% believe blacks lack the "motivation" to pull themselves out of poverty.

That's on us white folks to address, and IMHO, we are not doing it.

(And before our Joseph gives me a hard time about the focus of this post--yes, I''d like to see the numbers on how whites view other races as well, and acknowledge that this linked piece doesn't address that point at all, and it should.)

fiftythreepercenter
fiftythreepercenter

@stands_for_decibels "That's on us white folks to address, and IMHO, we are not doing it"


Once again, it's white people who have to change, not blacks.  Heck, why not throw in there it's white people and cops that need to change while you're at it since that's been the mantra of liberals for the past month or so.  


Tell us, Stands, how many years of blaming whitey will finally fix the 44% graduation rate in the APS which is totally and completely controlled by democrats, most of whom are black?  We're on 40 years or so now, so what's your guess of when that approach will start to work?

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@fiftythreepercenter @stands_for_decibels

Yes, rational people, I realize that he actually expects me to engage him in a ridiculous scenario where a community operates in a complete vaccuum, unaffected by public policies applied from elsewhere (to say nothing of centuries of economic history). And no, rational people, I'm not going to indulge him.

DebbieDoRight
DebbieDoRight

@_GodlessHeathen_ @stands_for_decibels  --  "The point being that people don't have very good perceptions of those outside their own group."


Speak for yourself heathen.  I've been blessed to have been a military brat and have travelled extensively all over the world.  I've seen dozens of all kinds of people and maybe thousands of couplings that some wouldn't believe; and I know there's no such thing as a "race".


there's only one race -- that's the human race. 

fiftythreepercenter
fiftythreepercenter

@stands_for_decibels @fiftythreepercenter Just face the truth, Stands.  People like you want to keep the status quo with the black community so you can continue using them as pawns.  You don't give a crap about the people because if you did, you wouldn't keep doubling down on the same failed approach that's keeping them in the same place year after year after year.  People like you are the biggest deterrent they have because you make excuses and blame everybody else.  It ain't working, it hasn't worked for 40 years, and it's not going to work for 40 more years.  


You are the problem, Stands. You.

_GodlessHeathen_
_GodlessHeathen_

@DebbieDoRight @_GodlessHeathen_ @stands_for_decibels DDR, I'm not speaking for anyone, just an observation about a fact of life.


Most people do not get exposed to cultures outside their own, you obviously being the exception.  And as the world grows smaller through technology, relations between cultures will continue to improve.

Soothsayer2
Soothsayer2

It Wasn't North Korea Or Russia: Sony Hack "Perpetrator" Said To Be Laid-Off, Disgruntled Employee

First it was, with "absolute certainly", North Korea. Then, out of the blue, an even more ridiculous theory emerged about theorigin of the Sony hackers: Russia. Now, we finally get the truth, and as it turns out it was neither of the above-mentioned sovereign actors who had nothing better to do than to hack movie scripts and racist emails: it was Sony's own disgruntled worker who was the source of the hack. According toPolitico, FBI agents investigating the Sony Pictures hack were briefed Mondayby a security firm that says its research points to laid-off Sony staff, not North Korea, as the perpetrator."

But... but just a week ago the FBI was so absolutely certain it was North Korea it released the following statement:

As a result of  our investigation, and in close collaboration with other U.S. Government departments and agencies, the FBI now has enough information to conclude that the North Korean government is responsible for these actions.

Bottom line: the hacker was a disgruntled employee, and the leaked email situation was promptly used by studio execs to dupe the idiot public into believing it was their sworn patriotic duty to watch a failed comedic flop, generating revenues of over $20 million for what would have been a total dud. Which is why expect none of this to get any media coverage.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-12-30/it-wasnt-north-korea-or-russia-sony-hack-perpetrator-said-be-laid-disgruntled-employ

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

I hope you done yore patriotic duty and went and saw this movie! HAHAHAHAHAHA! Dupes!

Care for some new Coke?

KUTGF
KUTGF

 Representative Scalise brought into sharp focus the dire circumstances pervasive in many important, under-funded needs of the community at the expense of graft within the Housing and Urban Development Fund, an apparent give-away to a selective group based on race.

____________________


I know some try to pass this off (and the attendance at a white supremacist event) as not-worth-mentioning.  It seems to me that it is more because this adds to the evidence that so many "leaders" of the TP have racist backgrounds (that is NOT to say that EVERY TP member is a racist).  These kind of claims and race dog whistles need to be called out.  They have the right to say what they want, however absurd and irrational.  Rational people however need to make sure that these statements, this "support" for dog whistles, this disguised racism is pointed out repeatedly and shown for the garbage it is.  If you are accepting this type of speech and trying to claim its of no import, perhaps you are not as "rational" as you may believe or perhaps you have other issues you need to address to ask why you are not outraged. 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

I realize that most here are smarter than LBB, but just so it's clear to all: My interest (and it should be everyone's interest) is in median household net worth by quintile. 

I'm not especially interested in what might've happened to it between 2000 and 2011, for the purposes of fiscal discussions that invariably arise whenever there's a spending/tax bill up for debate. I'm more interested in the financial health of actual Americans, and how clueless much of America's elected establishment are about how important SS (and Medicare, of course) really are going forward.

These f##kers have done all they can to keep wages depressed and profits high over the years, and these same f##kers are going to do all they can to nibble away at the modest retirement income that had been promised to people who've been nickeled-and-dimed all their lives.

(They're f##kers, so what should we expect?)


Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@CommonSenseisntCommon @stands_for_decibels

And just so this much is clear--

my frequent exhortations to take Simpson and Bowles out back to be ball-stomped are borne out of those f##kers' insistence that "mooching" retirees take it in the @ss so our billionaires can breathe easy.

(It's not just those two guys, but they'll do.)

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@CommonSenseisntCommon @stands_for_decibels

Yeah, and for the record, I'd put the Bamster out in the alley to be ball-stomped as well for this "chained CPI" Grand Bargain bullspit business of his that he tried to pull a coupla years back. 

I don't play favorites here.

LeninTime
LeninTime

@stands_for_decibels

Good point. Not sure I'd agree though bout them being clueless about this, if by that you mean unaware of how essential it is in the lives of the vast majority.

They know perfectly well. And STILL ... 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@LeninTime @stands_for_decibels

LT, I have heard enough off-the-cuff remarks from all kinds of elected officials that make it painfully clear that they really don't know how financially insecure vast numbers of Americans really are.

And, I can't tell you how many times I've heard gasps when I've revealed to my upper-middle-class circle of acquaintances what the second and third quintile numbers look like. (I guess most kind of... accept that the first quintile are frcrewn.)

What's really fun is, when I have to point out that yes, this DOES include any home equity that these folks might have. That's when I start to see people clutching their chests a bit.