Open Letter to Nashville Mayor, John Cooper: Boys Club at MNPD
Dear Mayor Cooper: I, like countless of Nashvillians are devastated by the NPR story reporting about the "Boys Club" at the Nashville Police Department. Photo by John Partipilo Unfortunately this report confirmed what many Nashvillians suspected was happening within the MNPD (Metro Nashville Police Department) and why so many have been insistent on empowering and embracing a Community Oversight Board. That 19 women seem to have had their law enforcement careers cut short and ruined by sexual misconduct while the Chief of Police (who minimized if not outright ignored their claims) retired prematurely yesterday--while enjoying full benefits--is devastating and infuriating. I understand you must be busy working to repair the damage left by Chief Anderson and I commend you for hastening his ‘retirement'. And while there are many questions worth asking, whether or not the extra $2 million dollars added into the Police department budget recently was in anticipation for a moment such as this, this is a question for another time. The immediate questions to help our community understand how 19 women's lives and careers were devastated are as follows: -Who knew about these allegations and when? -Clearly the Chief knew but when did you become aware? -When did District Attorney, Glenn Funk learn of these horrific misdeeds? -And why did it take an article in the Nashville Scene and a story by WPLN to hasten Chief Anderson's early retirement? Last week I shared with you and members of the Nashville Metro City Council, a recent article by former Chattanooga Police Chief, Fred Fletcher published by Denver Post. When Mr. Fletcher was Chief Of Police, he handled numerous departmental sexual assaults swiftly and effectively in Chattanooga Police Department. "It is 💯 a man problem and a man responsibility." Former Chattanooga Police Chief, Fred Fletcher: There are numerous individuals and organizations across the country who, like Mr. Fletcher, are committed to combatting sexual assault in law enforcement and educating police officers about gender equity. May I humbly suggest that the city of Nashville call upon someone who can assist us in transforming the toxic culture of the Nashville Metro Police Department before more lives are ruined. Please do not leave the Nashville community wondering whether or not you have strong feelings about this travesty and demonstrate to women that you unequivocally will not tolerate such behavior among Nashville's finest. And most importantly, the culture of silence must end. Here. Now. So let's choose a new Police Chief outside of this toxic cesspool to lead our city into better days. Sincerely, Molly Secours Photo by John Partipilo Molly Secours is a writer/filmmaker, author of White Privilege Pop Quiz: A test you can't fail and a proud Nashvillian.