A Tennessee police department is under fire by its own top cop after officers executed a warrant at a home of an innocent family while investigating a 16-year-old boy who had moved out months earlier, officials recently said.
Metro Nashville‘s Interim Police Chief John Drake said in a Wednesday press release that he suspended three cops and ordered the department’s Office of Professional Accountability to conduct a full investigation into Tuesday’s early-morning search warrant, according to a press release. All three members – a lieutenant, a sergeant and an officer – will remain suspended until the completion of the investigation.
From now on, all search warrant applications submitted by an MNPD officer will need to be approved by a deputy chief of police, rather than just by the officer’s supervisor, the release states.
Drake’s orders came just days after police conducted a search warrant at the Edgehill home shortly after 6 a.m. Tuesday – and barged in to find a different, innocent family that had lived in the apartment for four months, police said.
“No innocent family in Nashville, anywhere, should be subjected to what the mother and her two children went through on Tuesday morning,” Drake said. “They were awakened by a team of officers who banged on their door and ultimately knocked it in with a ram. It appears that the mother was not given the proper time to come to the door before it was breached.”
Drake also said members of the department’s West Precinct failed to “exercise due diligence in confirming” that the teenager in question had even still lived at the home. Upon further review, department officials determined the 16-year-old and his mother had moved last summer, police said.
But the officers were using a database that “had not been updated since November 2018,” the release states.
“There appears to have been a lack of confirming through other means, including surveillance or checking with human sources, that the 16-year-old lived there,” Drake said. “We have to be better than that, and I absolutely assure you, we will be moving forward.”
Of the three members who were suspended, Lt. Harrison Dooley, is a 12-year veteran of the force, while Sgt. Jeff Brown has 21 years and Officer Michael Richardson has five.
Police provided photographs of Dooley and Richardson but said they could not release an image of Brown because he conducts undercover work.