Metro Police Chief Says Ferguson Mistakes Won't Happen In Nashville
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Chief Steve Anderson with the Metro Nashville Police Department said he watched the protests in Ferguson, Missouri and Thursday night during a town hall meeting, he talked to residents about the mistakes he observed.
For starters, Chief Anderson said the Ferguson Police Department should've addressed the public shortly after the deadly shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
"Within an hour, there should've been some preliminary statement to the community," said Chief Anderson.
Public Affairs Manager, Don Aaron is in charge of disseminating information to the media and operates under a departmental motto: "If it's good news, get it out there fast. If it's bad news, get it out there faster.”
In addition, Ferguson Police should've never withheld the officer's name. Chief Anderson said in a similar situation, the department would make sure the officer and his family are safe before releasing an identity, but he sees no good reason to withhold anyone's name.
"When you keep secrets, it smells like a conspiracy," he added.
Furthermore, any videos related to the victim should've been kept away from the public. According to Chief Anderson, the videos only added fuel to the fire.
Chief Anderson said the public has to the right to voice their concerns and it's a police department's job to assist and facilitate demonstration, maybe even meet with organizers beforehand to set ground rules.
“If you need to march, if you need to protest, if you need to get a message out, we'll be there with you,” he said.
While no one can predict a situation like Ferguson, Chief Anderson said the community and the department should work together to avoid clashes and find solutions to any problems before they arise.
"This is your police department, it's not my police department, I merely manage it for you,” said Chief Anderson.