Nashville Police Chief Defends Protesters In Response To Citizen’s Criticism

Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson is receiving praise for his recently published response to an email received by a citizen. The anonymous dissenter contacted the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department to complain that the department was putting itself “at disharmony” with community by supporting Ferguson protesters.

Nashville police have been amicable towards its city’s demonstrators. Shaking hands with and passing out hot chocolate to groups of protesters, relations have remained positive. The anonymous email remarked that this made him feel unsafe. Anderson replied to his grievances, defending the police and the protesters, stating that the department has the “general welfare of the public in mind.”

Read an excerpt from Anderson’s reply below:

In that your thoughts deserve consideration, I will attempt to address some of the issues you have raised:

• Has consideration been given as to whether the response of the police department “help or hurt the community.”

It is our view that every decision made within the police department should be made with the community in mind. Obviously, there are some matters in which we have no discretion. On matters in which we do have discretion, careful consideration is given as to the best course of action, always with the welfare of the general public in mind.
That has been the consideration on this issue. Certainly, in comparing the outcome here in Nashville with what has occurred in some other cities, the results speak for themselves. I stand on the decisions that have been made.

• “These actions are putting the department at disharmony from the majority of the citizens.”

While I don’t doubt that you sincerely believe that your thoughts represent the majority of citizens, I would ask you to consider the following before you chisel those thoughts in stone.
As imperfect humans, we have a tendency to limit our association with other persons to those persons who are most like us. Unfortunately, there is even more of a human tendency to stay within our comfort zone by further narrowing those associations to those persons who share our thoughts and opinions. By doing this we can avoid giving consideration to thoughts and ideas different than our own. This would make us uncomfortable. By considering only the thoughts and ideas we are in agreement with, we stay in our comfort zone. Our own biases get reinforced and reflected back at us leaving no room for any opinion but our own. By doing this, we often convince ourselves that the majority of the world shares opinion and that anyone with another opinion is, obviously, wrong.

Continue reading Chief Steve Anderson’s letter here.