Tag Archives: Nashville

Nashville Cop, Caught on Video Threatening to Shoot Ex-UT Football Player, Decommissioned

WSMV Channel 4

Metro Nashville Police Officer Brian Birch has been decommissioned and was assigned to desk duty on Monday, less than 24 hours after he was caught on bystander video ordering a man out of his car at gunpoint during a traffic stop by saying, “Open the d— door now. I’m going to shoot you in the f—— face. Open it now!”

Metro-Nashville Police Department spokesperson Don Aaron told The Tennessean, “The language used by Officer Birch was not appropriate and he has been decommissioned while that is sorted out.”

The incident began when police pulled over former Tennessee Volunteers football player Walter Fisher Jr. after bystanders, who had confused him for a gunman after seeing him use a personal defense weapon to stop a car burglary in progress, called 911 and reported his vehicle and description. Fisher has a valid handgun carry permit.

“There was a call to Casa Fiesta restaurant at 2:18 Sunday afternoon in regard to a man carrying what the citizen thought to be an AK-47 and a pistol… According to a report to a dispatcher, people were being threatened,” said Aaron. He continued, “During the ensuing investigation, it was determined that Fisher was at Casa Fiesta eating when he saw two persons burglarizing his car. Fisher, who was wearing the pistol on his waistband, went outside to confront the burglars. One of them fled; he caught the other. Fisher then removed his shotgun from the car and was preparing to escort the burglar he caught to the adjoining motel in an attempt to retrieve items taken from his car. In the process, the second burglar broke free and ran away. Fisher did not pursue him, nor did he notify police of the auto burglary.” Fisher was not found to be in possession of an AK-47.

Walter Fisher Jr. told WSMV-TV, “I know the man’s trying to do his job, but the man could’ve shot me… You should never tell a person you’re going to shoot him in the effing face. You’re an officer of the law. I look to you to uphold the law, not break it.” Fisher, who is haunted by the incident, says he does not want Birch to lose his job, but that decommissioning does not go far enough. He hopes that the department will retrain officers to better handle future situations.

“This was a very intense situation for all involved. The officers were extremely concerned based on the information they received. Domestic situations can be volatile and unpredictable. No doubt, adrenaline was pumping on both sides, but still that doesn’t negate the error in language by Officer Birch,” said police representative Don Aaron.

The Metro-Nashville Police Department, which has a reputation for strictly disciplining its employees, appeared recently in stories on TruthInMedia.com when its officers refused an illegal Secret Service request to falsify a warrant and when its Chief Steve Anderson opted against engaging in a militarized crackdown on Ferguson protesters.

DA Kicks Prosecutor off Case for Offering Mentally Ill Woman Sterilization Plea Deal

Nashville’s duly-elected District Attorney Glenn Funk, a former defense attorney, promised to take an active role in controversial cases. According to The Tennessean, he recently fulfilled that promise by personally taking over a child neglect case after his Assistant District Attorney Brian Holmgren offered mentally ill defendant Jasmine Randers an unusual plea deal —  either she would be sterilized or face a minimum of 15 years in prison.

Randers, a 36-year-old California-born woman who suffers from schizoaffective disorder and who has been in-and-out of psychiatric care since she was 15, brought her lifeless 4-year-old daughter Issabelle to a Nashville hospital. Though her daughter’s cause of death is unknown and could not be determined by autopsy, Holmgren charged her with aggravated child neglect, citing the facts that she did not possess formula bottles at the time of her child’s death and that she took a taxi to the hospital rather than an ambulance. At the time of her death, Issabelle was a healthy weight, showed no signs of trauma, and had food in her stomach.

Said Randers to The Tennessean, “I believe I was very sick and I, I guess, she was very sick, and I came here without a lot of money… And she ended up dying prior to the hospital where she was pronounced dead. Ever since then we’ve been trying to figure out how much I was responsible for that.”

Randers’ criminal case initially pitted Assistant District Attorney Brian Holmgren, a nationally-renowned child abuse prosecutor and member of the international advisory board of the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome, against Assistant Public Defender Mary Kathryn Harcombe. Holmgren said he would only offer Randers, who was facing at least 15 years in prison for aggravated child neglect, an opportunity to take a plea deal if she would agree to submit to a sterilization procedure. Harcombe, who found the offer to be “inherently coercive,” reported the plea deal to District Attorney Glenn Funk, Holmgren’s boss.

After reviewing the facts, Funk disagreed with Holmgren’s approach and took over the case. “I have let my office know that [sterilization] is not an appropriate condition of a plea… It is now policy that sterilization will never be a condition of deal-making in the district attorney’s office.”

Noting the fact that a group of doctors unanimously found that Randers suffered from serious mental disabilities that would justify an insanity defense, Funk agreed to a deal in which Randers would be found not guilty by reason of insanity and committed to a psychiatric hospital.

Is the Capital of Tennessee About to Decriminalize Marijuana?

A tipping point may have just been reached on the issue of marijuana decriminalization in Nashville, Tennessee. At a Tuesday candidate forum for Nashville’s 2015 mayoral race, five out of seven candidates for mayor signaled their support of or openness to the idea of decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana, a fact which Tennessean writer Joey Garrison called “a sign of changing attitudes toward the drug that could boost ongoing efforts to change the law in Davidson County.” The ongoing efforts he mentioned include the pro-pot group TN-NORML‘s drive to collect signatures for a petition to place a referendum on August’s city-wide general election ballot that would allow voters to choose whether to de facto decriminalize the possession of under two ounces of marijuana by defunding prosecutions at the city level.

At the mayoral candidate forum, which was hosted by Nashville’s public radio affiliate WPLN along with local attorneys’ groups, candidates Megan Berry and Jeremy Kane openly espoused their support for decriminalization, while Howard Gentry, David Fox, and Charles Robert Bone signaled their willingness to consider it. Bill Freeman positioned himself against decriminalization, and The Tennessean characterized Linda Eskind Rebrovick’s position as seeming to oppose changing the law.

Charles Robert Bone told those in attendance, “I’ve thought for a long time that the criminalization of small amounts of marijuana was totally unfair… So, I, too, would be receptive to that.” Megan Berry pointed out how pot criminalization has disproportionately affected Nashville’s minority communities, and Howard Gentry noted the fact that sentencing laws exacerbate prohibition’s unfairness.

TN-NORML’s effort to change the law through a city-wide referendum requires that the group collect at least 6,877 valid signatures of registered voters by May 18. If the group is successful, a charter amendment proposal would be placed on August’s general election ballot that would allow Nashvillians to vote up-or-down on whether the city’s law enforcement resources should go towards enforcing criminal laws against possession of less than two ounces of pot. Though state laws would still ban pot possession if the charter amendment were to pass, citizens arrested by Nashville police in violation of the amendment would be able to sue the city for damages. TN-NORML’s attorney Daniel Horwitz said of the initiative, “This is a novel attempt at de-funding prosecution of low-level marijuana offenses. This initiative certainly isn’t a panacea, but once enacted, it would ensure that no more Metro dollars are wasted prosecuting adults for the simple possession of small amounts of marijuana going forward.”

Doak Patton, president of TN-NORML, told The Tennessean, “We would like to see resources devoted toward violent criminals, thieves and people who are needing to be locked away instead of nonviolent offenders.”

Though Tennessee is a hard-red, socially-conservative state, its Republican government recently legalized hemp. Nashville, Tennessee’s capital, is widely known as an open-minded, culturally-diverse center of music and the arts for the deep south, and its voters typically elect liberal-leaning Democrats. Nashvillians also elected former criminal defense attorney Glenn Funk to the position of District Attorney last year after he ran a campaign promising to focus the city’s prosecutions on violent criminals rather than low-level drug users.

Ben Swann recently tackled the federal government’s mixed messages on marijuana prohibition in a September 2014 Truth in Media episode. Watch it in the embedded video player below.

Nashville Police Chief Defends Decision Not to Crack Down on Police Brutality Protesters

Following the highly-publicized and controversial officer-involved deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, protests erupted nationwide. In many cities, police responded to demonstrations with overwhelming force and military hardware, and rioters reacted by setting fire to storefronts and looting local businesses. However, Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson took a dramatically different approach, instead treating the anti police brutality rallies as a type of parade or community event. Consequently, no violence or property damage took place.

At one point, protesters took over I-24 and engaged in a technically-illegal die-in, inconveniencing Nashville drivers. Recognizing that arresting all of the protesters and clearing them from the roadway would elevate hostilities and take several hours to complete, Chief Anderson, channeling the Music City’s culture of politeness, blocked I-24 to protect the protesters and drivers. The demonstrators made their point and exited the roadway within around 20 minutes. However, detractors, who would have rather seen Nashville’s top cop unleash maximum force on demonstrators, complained about the Chief’s soft response. The Tennessean is reporting that Chief Steve Anderson issued a Christmas message on December 26 in which he responded to critics, and, in so doing, laid out his philosophy on law enforcement in which Nashville police are instructed to focus on community safety, rather than revenue generation and arbitrary crackdowns over political ideology. He also expressed his view that open-mindedness holds the key to a resolution of the core issues behind the police brutality protests and said, “It is only when we go outside that comfort zone, and subject ourselves to the discomfort of considering thoughts we don’t agree with, that we can make an informed judgment on any matter.”

Chief Anderson’s letter opened by thanking Nashville police and acknowledging that “not everyone will understand or agree with the manner in which we have responded during these demonstrations.” He told his subordinate officers, “As a member of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, you have responded to these events in a manner that clearly shows that this is a professional police department staffed by professional individuals who respect the points of view of all persons. Again, thank you for showing the Nashville public that, individually and collectively, they have a police department they can be proud of.”

However, he did not stop there. Anderson also included and responded to a letter from an anonymous detractor who complained that failing to arrest the protesters for taking over I-24 would lead to a collapse of the rule of law, endangering community safety. Nashville’s Police Chief said that the letter was representative of the views of people whose “thought processes are driven, not by what has occurred during the demonstration, but more by the social positions taken by the demonstrators.” He continued, “Clearly, they are more angry at the thoughts expressed by the demonstrators than how the demonstrations are being conducted. While I respect their right to take that position, we cannot allow those views to be a part of our decision making process. Decisions need to be made with a view toward what is best for all of Nashville.” Chief Anderson’s operating policy is to remain neutral on the political views of protesters in keeping with the First Amendment.

The critic also asked how he is supposed to teach his son to respect police who would allow protesters to get away with such lawlessness. The letter calling for a crackdown implied that Chief Anderson may have been ordered by Nashville Mayor Karl Dean not to arrest protesters.

Anderson responded generally by taking ownership of and standing by his decision, saying, “comparing the outcome here in Nashville with what has occurred in some other cities, the results speak for themselves.”

However, he also took the opportunity to explore a teachable moment regarding officer discretion in incidences in which minor violations of the law have taken place. He asked if the individual who wrote the letter would make the same complaint if he were issued a warning after committing a minor traffic violation. Chief Steve Anderson then confirmed a long-standing rumor by admitting that officers in his department institutionally give warnings rather than citations to citizens found clear of warrants and repeat offenses who commit minor traffic violations. Said Anderson, “In the year 2013, our officers made over four hundred thousand vehicle stops, mostly for traffic violations. A citation was issued in only about one in six of those stops. Five of the six received warnings. This is the police exercising discretion for minor violations of the law. Few, if any, persons would argue that the police should have no discretion.”

There is no doubt that Chief Anderson could raise significantly more revenue for the city if he ordered crackdowns on every minor offense and technicality, but his policing style is focused on community safety and harmony, rather than revenue generation. The below video contains footage of a police encounter with an officer from the Metro Nashville Police Department which was filmed by a Tennessee-based cop watcher.

Note in the video above that the cop watcher was given a polite warning about his non-functioning headlight, which could be a safety hazard, and was then allowed to go on his way. The two had a friendly, agreeable conversation about an incident in which Chief Steve Anderson criticized the Secret Service for asking his officers to fake a warrant, which they refused to do, in an effort to illegally search the home of an Obama critic.

The cop watcher in the above video had also previously recorded a July 4, 2013 stop in another county in Tennessee, in which officers appeared to coach a K-9 unit to signal the presence of drugs in an effort to conduct an illegal search. That video, seen below, went viral nationwide and demonstrates the difference between the conduct of police officers under Steve Anderson’s leadership in Nashville and others working in rural counties across the state.

Legislator’s open letter to Obama: Welcome to Rocky Top, We’ll See You In Court

DRESDEN, Tenn., December 9, 2014–

President Obama,

Welcome back to Rocky Top. Polls across the State of Tennessee have consistently indicated strong opposition to amnesty; especially unilateral, executive amnesty which you have chosen to force upon an unwilling populace.  While I am sure you will be greeted with a warm welcome at Mayor Dean’s Casa Azafran Center, I want to ensure that the voice of millions of Tennesseans, which your recent executive order will undoubtedly disenfranchise, is heard. This is why I have initiated a lawsuit against your administration, based on this aforementioned unconstitutional action, in the Tennessee General Assembly.

Mr. President, let me be clear: my opposition isn’t necessarily about immigration, and it’s not about party politics. My opposition is deeply rooted in principle and my constant effort to maintain the delicate balance of power; a separation of powers which has served our nation well for many, many years.

You do not have the power to commandeer state resources to fulfill your roughshod and unwelcome plans for immigration. Not even Congress has that power, as the Supreme Court of the United States has made this explicitly clear in more than 180 years of precedent. The most recent Court decision holding this doctrine being the ruling in NFIB v. Sebelius (Obamacare). Here is an excerpt from the majority opinion to refresh your memory:

“For this reason, ‘the Constitution has never been understood to confer upon Congress the ability to require the States to govern according to Congress’ instructions.’ New York, supra, at 162. Otherwise the two-government system established by the Framers would give way to a system that vests power in one central government, and individual liberty would suffer.”

-But you already knew that.

While many, including myself, maintain that your executive order is illegal, some disagree. After all, “Bush did it!” Let’s say the Court does decide to grant the Executive Branch even more power by upholding your executive action as a constitutionally legitimate power. If your executive order is deemed the law of the land, then such laws are not allowed to mandate state implementation. At that point, based on precedent previously cited, if one dollar of state resources are required to carry out your demands, the anti-commandeering principle gives every state in America the power to render your lawless executive order null and void.

We plan to wage a full scale resistance to your executive action in Tennessee, and I hope that other states will continue to follow suit.

Enjoy your stay, and we soon hope to see you in court soon,

– State Representative Andy Holt (R- Dresden)

Press Release: State Representative Andy Holt (R-Dresden) In Response To President Obama’s December 9, 2014 Visit To Nashville, Tennessee To Discuss Recent Immigration Executive Order

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This city is demanding $125 just to take pictures in public parks

NASHVILLE, September 27, 2014 –  Security at Nashville Metro parks has been cracking down on a little known regulation that requires all photographers, both professional and amateur, to acquire a $125 permit before taking photos or filming in a public park. Even “selfies”. Darwin Alberto, a local amateur photographer, told WTTV Fox 17 that he was approached by a security guard in Centennial Park this week while taking photographs and asked to register for a permit or cease and desist his photography in the park.

Watch the full report here.

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Exclusive- Ron Paul: Seeds Have Been Sown, Massive Crash Looming


A few of the leading names in the political realm came together in Nashville, Tennessee over the weekend to discuss the Federal Reserve. They called it, A Night of Clarity. The conference boasted a room of more than 500, packed wall to wall with a surprisingly wide range of audience demographics. Typically, at such events where former congressman, Dr. Ron Paul is featured the crowd is young and energetic. This crowd was unique. The median age was approximately 40 years old. Many attendees were former business, economic & marketing majors who are now leaders in their chosen industry. Attendees came from all over the country to hear the six man team make their case against the Federal Reserve.

Dr. Paul Speaks In Nashville, TN
Dr. Paul Speaks In Nashville, TN

The night featured speeches and book signings by:

-L. Carlos Laura, CEO of United Services & Trust Corporation & co-creator of the Infinite Banking Practitioner’s Program ™

-Lawrence Reed, founder of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)

-R. Nelson Nash, bestselling author of Becoming Your Own Banker & creator of the Infinite Banking Concept

-Robert R. Murphy, PhD in economics from New York University, president of Consulting by RPM & co-creator of the Infinite Banking Practitioner’s Program

-Thomas E. Woods, Jr. PhD Columbia University, senior fellow in history at the Mises Institute & author of award winning The Church and The Market

-Former Congressman, Dr. Ron Paul (R-TX)

Each man took their turn throwing jabs at the Federal Reserve and America’s fiat monetary system. Multiple jabs were also thrown at Ben Bernanke, republicans and democrats. Each man, a champion of Austrian economics, criticized the embrace of the Keynesian school.

Dr. Murphy tells us, “The Federal Reserve obviously has a horrible record. However, we are only asking- Who should replace Ben Bernanke?  When we need to be asking- How do we replace the Federal Reserve?”

When asked about the unique audience demographics Dr. Murphy said,

We are trying to do something different with these conferences. If we can bring in the business and finance industry to show them how the Federal Reserve’s policies have a direct, negative effect on their business and career then hopefully we can get the industry motivated to seek change.

According to Dr. Woods, “Every panic in the past has been caused by the over-issuing of paper money and too much regulation.“

Woods says that there is so little difference between the two new Federal Reserve nominees that you literally couldn’t slide a credit card between the two of them, and yet the media is portraying it as a “raging debate in Washington”.  “The raging debate would be about whether or not there should even be a Federal Reserve,” says Dr. Woods.

Dr. Paul says, “Austrian economics and the Federal Reserve is a favorite subject of mine.”  According to Dr. Paul, he gets a lot of phone calls from the media asking him who he would choose as the next Federal Reserve chair. Dr. Paul says he responds, “Mr. NOTA” (none of the above).  According to Dr. Paul,

There is a massive crash coming. The seeds have been sown for decades now. This crash will dwarf any crash seen in the history of the world. It is inevitable. The coming bubble is gigantic and it is already leaking. To my understanding of the market and the global economy the bond bubble is so big because of the world wide fiat currency and rampant inflation. Even though I encourage people to run for Congress and encourage champions such as my son and Congressman Amash to speak truth- I do not see a time in the near future where we will be able to end the Federal Reserve through Congress. They may tinker with policy, but ending quantitative easing and such will not occur. The bubble will continue to grow and become so big that they simply will not know how to handle it. It is an addiction. The country and the world are addicted to this type of spending.

Paul gives a dire warning, but says he is also optimistic.

“The youth makes me optimistic. People call me disillusioned because of all the support I receive from college students. They say the kids only support me because they want to smoke pot. I don’t believe that.  The young people I have met are incredibly decent, educated and wonderful people. They want the truth,” says Dr. Paul.

Paul says that we are running out of time, and that we must hurry to educate and inspire others.

The event promoted the newly found Infinite Banking Institute, which is an educational program that focuses on Austrian economic implementation in the financial industry.


Let us know what you think in the comments below-

Police Shove Man to Ground, Arrest Another for Filming it

Last Friday at 2:00 AM in downtown Nashville, TN 3 men were arrested by police during an incident. It all began when Matthew Paige of the Blackfoot Gypsies left the Broadway bar Layla’s after playing a show. Paige accidentally bumped his amp into Metro officer Jeffrey C. Cason’s police cruiser. Officer Cason had just tried to issue Paige’s girlfriend a citation for double parking near the designated space for musicians to load their equipment on Broadway. The space was being illegally occupied by a taxi.

Paige Being Arrested
Paige Being Arrested

As officer Cason was issuing the citation he claims that Paige then struck his cruiser twice with his amp. Multiple eyewitnesses deny this actually happened. Paige says that he bumped his amp into the police cruiser as he was hauling his stuff to his girlfriend’s vehicle. The officer then accused him of vandalism and asked for his identification. Paige asked why the officer needed his ID. “Shit started getting crazy after that,” says Paige.

Two fellow musicians began to film and take pictures of the event. One musician, Galen Mitchell, was shoved to the ground by another officer. He was arrested for disorderly conduct. After catching this on film, Jefferey Marcom, the second musician, yelled, “this is going on the news!” The police immediately went after Marcom and his camera. They shove him to the ground and arrest him. You can clearly see in the video that Marcom has committed no crime and poses not threat to the officers. Yet, police booked him into jail for resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. After unjustly arresting Marcom, they searched him and found drugs. They then charged him for possession. In an affidavit officer Cason says, “we had to physically push Marcom back for our safety.” However, it is clear in the video that the police are the aggressors, not Marcom. You can also hear a woman in the background saying “he’s not resisting”.


Paige set up a Facebook page for Marcom titled, “Free Jefferey Marcom“. The page reads, “Help us raise bail money for Jeffrey Marcom. He is a man that was wrongfully incarcerated for video taping an instance of police brutality.” A benefit show was held last night to help with the costs as well. According to the Facebook page they have raised $1,869 between the show and their online fundraising efforts. According to the local news station, the police involved are under review.

Paige tells us that nothing much has happened since the incident and they are just awaiting their court dates. He adds that they hope to get the word out about the incident.