Delayed (internal affairs) police investigations, director resigns

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -The Channel 4 I-Team found that hundreds of thousands of your tax dollars are spent for police officers to sit on the sidelines. This is months, even years police are pulled from the streets while the department in charge of their fate takes its time.

During the course of our Channel 4 I-Team investigation the police chief spoke out. And soon after that, the director in charge of these investigations actually stepped down.

All it takes is an allegation. Then police paid to protect you can get re-routed to desk duty. But it’s how long they’re sitting on the sidelines, and not protecting the streets, that’s causing serious concern. Even Nashville’s chief of police said it’s simply not fair to you.

Metro police officer Edward Draves was a street cop, chasing bad guys, protecting the public. But when Draves was accused of making inappropriate comments to a woman, he was put on desk duty.

Not for 45 days – the limit internal investigations are supposed to take.

Not for 80 days. Not for one year. Not for two years. It took three years for Draves’ internal investigation to be completed.

It took three years for metro’s Office of Professional Accountability to determine Draves was innocent.

“The investigations have taken too long. They haven’t been as thorough as I would like,” said Chief Anderson.

And then there’s the case of one officer, and allegations he took bullets from the training academy. It took 450 days for the metro Office of Professional Accountability – or OPA – to finish their internal investigation. In the end, that officer too was found innocent.

And a Channel 4 I-Team investigation found those cases are hardly unique. We found case, after case, after case, of internal investigations of metro police officers stretching out way beyond the department’s own 45 day deadline.

“Well for the past 20 or 30 years, in my view, there’s always been an issue,” said Anderson.

ADDED: Delaying IA investigations for as long as possible is a known tactic used by many departments in hopes the allegations become harder to prove over time. That witnesses move, become unreachable. Stories change and recollections of events fade away.

This is a very common tactic used by many to “clear” officers of wrongdoing. It also discourages others from filing complaints as the process is slow and the object of IA investigators is to actually wear down the victims, those whom file the complaints.

Imagine if the police took this long to investigate a burglary, or robbery or assault case? Where do you think the victims and suspects would be in two or three years?


One Response to “Delayed (internal affairs) police investigations, director resigns”

  1. GOOD RIDDANCE KENNETHA SAWYERS! You did everything you could to CLEAR the officers and entire MNPD Domestic Violence Division of wrongdoing, unprofessional conduct, gross negligence and completely inappropriate, excessive and unjustified force. A SWAT Unit broke into my home, brutally attacked and injured us, and violently and brutally arrested me based on a never investigated false police report alleging I made a phone call! We were – and continue to be – innocent victims/survivors of police brutality. Kennetha-you deserve so much worse. We are relieved to know you can no longer exploit innocent victims of police brutality. DA Torry Johnson&ADA Chris Buford-we hope you’re next. Read our story: http://justiceforisla.wordpre​ – we hope that Jeremy will choose to investigate our ordeal as it continues to unfold.

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