Today is my 46th Birthday. It’s been a crazy month. I’m thankful for all of the love and support that I’ve received from friends, friends of friends and total strangers as I’ve dealt with my Tennessee ordeal. In lieu of birthday wishes, I have a favor to ask.
Let’s keep up the pressure on the officials in Knoxville and Jefferson County. I want them to remember that just because the media attention has died down, our determination to see changes at the department hasn’t waned.
Please take a moment to send your version of this email to the list of officials below. You’re also welcome to call and voice your concerns. I’ve provided a contact list below.
As you review and discuss Tonya Jameson’s complaint against Officer Matt Janish, I strongly encourage you to discipline Janish for pulling a gun on Ms. Jameson, an African-American woman who was changing the plates on a car she purchased from Officer Janish’s mother-in-law.
Officer Janish overreacted, plain and simple, to the presence of a black woman. He should have kept his gun holstered, asked questions, checked paperwork, and moved along. Ms. Jameson complied with Officer Janish’s requests and offered repeatedly to show the paperwork. The encounter could have had the tragic ending that has been become all too familiar in our country when police officers rush to draw their weapons.
Officer Janish should be suspended without pay and make a public apology to Ms. Jameson. The City of Knoxville and Knox County should review its policies and training. Integrating recommendations, strategies and training outlined in Campaign Zero’s 10-point plan for law enforcement that protects and preserves life could prevent encounters like these from happening.
I look forward to hearing from you on the outcome of the Officer Janish investigation and the changes you plan to incorporate.
Nashville, TN 37243-0001