Officer Lippert shot and killed the 31-year-old man during a confrontation on South Sixth Street in the James Cayce Public Housing Development.
According to an investigative report, Officer Lippert stopped Clemmons after he did not stop at a stop sign at South Sixth Street and Summer Place.
According to the investigative report released by District Attorney Glenn Funk, “Independent witness Person 1 was in the parking lot when these events occurred. She was a short distance from the incident. She observed Mr. Clemmons with a handgun. Person 1 observed Mr. Clemmons arm himself by picking the handgun off the ground during the altercation with Officer Lippert. The statements of Person 1 and Officer Lippert corroborate each other, and both of their statements are sufficiently corroborated by MDHA video.”
The report continued, “Based on the facts of this incident, and the application of the law of self-defense in the State of Tennessee, Officer Lippert has a legally sufficient claim of self-defense. Therefore, the state will not pursue criminal charges against Officer Lippert.”
The report also showed an MNPD internal investigation into whether Lippert violated department policy during the incident “exonerated” him, March 27, which is before the TBI investigation was complete.
The internal investigation reviewed Officer Lippert’s use of force and crime scene protection and investigation.
Lippert remained on paid administrative assignment during both investigations.
The report also addressed the perception that MNPD has unfair police practices.
“The Driving While Black report, which used statistical analysis to demonstrate disparity in traffic stops and searches, documented that these perceptions may have a valid basis in fact. For Nashville to move forward, all law enforcement, including my office, must take steps to enhance fairness and confidence in the criminal justice system.”
District Attorney Funk is recommending Mayor Megan Barry and the MNPD with his office do the following:
- A joint study to review the potential issues presented in the Driving While Black report.
- Whether or not MNPD should formally review incidents involving officers drawing weapons, whether the weapon was discharged or not.
- Policies to further encourage intentional, deliberate recruitment of minority personnel.
- Funding for the Restorative Justice Program. The Office of the District Attorney General is committed to partnering with Juvenile Court to establish a Restorative Justice Program this year wherein victims can be fully supported while juvenile offenders have the opportunity to avoid detention for some specific, agreed upon charges.
District Attorney Funk, TBI Director Mark Gywn and Mayor Megan Barry are expected to speak about the results of this investigation at 3 p.m. at TBI headquarters.