No Charges Filed in Nashville Police Killing of Black Man

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A man is dead at the hands of a Nashville police officer, but there will be no criminal charges filed, the city’s district attorney announced, The Tennessean reports.  The Tennessean Thursday afternoon.  The decision not to charge officer Joshua Lippert in the shooting death of Jocques Clemmons prompted immediate reaction, including a pledge from Clemmons’ family to continue seeking justice. Clemmons, a 31-year-old black man, was fatally shot on the afternoon of Feb. 10 by Lippert, a white Nashville police officer. Clemmons had reportedly run a stop sign at a public housing complex. Lippert approached Clemmons to talk about the traffic violation. Moments later, surveillance video shows Clemmons running away with Lippert in pursuit. Lippert catches Clemmons and there is a struggle. Clemmons, who was thrown to the ground by Lippert, gets to his feet to flee again. At this point, Lippert shoots Clemmons several times.

Police say Clemmons had a .357 magnum handgun. When Lippert takes down Clemmons, the gun reportedly fell out of Clemmons’ possession and onto the ground. Police say there was some sort of scramble for the gun. Clemmons then picked up the gun, pointed it in Lippert’s direction and refused to drop it, District Attorney Glenn Funk says. The fact he had a gun, as seen by a witness who was near the altercation, turned out to be the key bit of evidence that made Funk decide not to charge Lippert. “The most important evidence was witness number one, who was present in the parking lot who saw Mr. Clemmons when he picked the weapon off of the ground,” Funk said.

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