Nashville demands oversight success!

JM Heatherly
3 min readNov 15, 2018

Fraternal Order of Police and GOP lawmakers seek to subvert the Will of the People. Who shall prevail by March deadline for oversight implementation?

Image by Martin B. Cherry

Like any major city in the United States, Nashville possesses a sordid past of unresolved, racial inequities, unequal representation, and outright violence and oppression — among other injustices. On November 6th, Davidson County citizens “overwhelmingly” voted to support the idea that community members should provide a measure of oversight regarding reports of alleged police misconduct.

Some describe it as a bittersweet victory for the survivors of Jocques Clemmons and Daniel Hambrick. Black women led the charge — Gicola Lane, Sheila Clemmons Lee, Theeda Murphy, to name a few. While Amendment 1 begins the process of bringing justice to those who went without, already we see a barage of efforts to subvert the will of voters.

Background: Calls For Community Oversight Echo Through Nashville History

Metro Nashville voters broke from the past and elected to pass amendment 1 by nearly a 60–40 margin — a culmination of efforts begun by seeds planted in the 1970s. Despite FOP spending $500k against CON’s $20k, voters saw past the lie of a tax increase, the fib of unequal representation, and the deceitful narrative of “government bureaucrats providing cushy jobs to their buddies”. The effort for COB was grassroots. We know this because we helped gather signatures, register voters, phone bank and more for Amendment 1.

Image by Martin B. Cherry

Citizens demand their votes be recognized. FOP has a judicial hearing on December 5th, and they contest the number of required signatures exceeds 8200+ gathered. They represent that thin, blue line.

Then to add insult to injury, you have newly elected state lawmaker Glen Casada leading GOP Tennessee state lawmakers to preempt COB implementation by legislating against it at the state level. I find it absurdly ironic that members of a party — that supposedly glorifies small government and the people’s will - would take it upon themselves to subvert municipal law with state law. These are likely some of the same figures who would have argued the Civil War was a states' rights issue. Followed up by failing to clarify or acknowledge what they mean is to say states' rights to own other human beings.

So, What’s Next for Community Oversight?

There was a community meeting yesterday, and there will be another this Sunday. We must organize to ensure our electoral success be implemented and fulfilled. We came to this point as a grassroots coalition, and that is what will see us through to victory in not only this battle, but the war for social and economic liberation of all peoples. We must remain vigilant and stand as vanguard to protect our rights in this age of tyranny and authoritarianism. See you Sunday.

Wanna learn more or get involved with Community Oversight? Join the team, and let’s bring civilian accountability of police to your community! Visit

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Image via Community Oversight Now



JM Heatherly

(he/they) Edit, Garden, Hospitality, Music, Organize, Socialist. Finding gems to polish for you.