Tenn. officers suspended after breaking down door

U.S. & World

Three Tennessee police officers have had their police powers suspended after they broke down the door of an innocent family early Tuesday morning.

Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake ordered a full investigation of the incident by the department’s Office of Professional Accountability.

He said the family should have been given more time to answer the door and officers did not exercise due diligence in confirming that the person they were looking for lived at the apartment.

The officers had used a Nashville public housing agency database to find the home of a 16-year-old they were investigating, according to a news release from Nashville police.

However, the database had not been updated since 2018 after the agency determined that providing housing information to the police violated privacy laws.

Drake also said the officers did not appear to give the woman who lived in the home sufficient time to come to the door before ramming it open at 6:05 a.m.

Police were looking for evidence related to auto burglaries, according to a police spokesperson.

While the investigation takes place, Drake has suspended the police powers of Lt. Harrison Dooley, a 12-year veteran, Sgt. Jeff Brown, a 21-year veteran, and Officer Michael Richardson, a 5-year veteran.

Drake also ordered that all applications for search warrants be approved by a deputy chief of police, rather than by the employee’s supervisors, in the future.

The local precinct commander met with the current resident of the apartment and apologized to her on behalf of the police department, according to the news release.

Police will continue outreach to the woman and her children.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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