This is it. The Knoxville Police Advisory & Review Committee is wrapping up its investigation of my complaint. I am hopeful that the results won’t be a rubberstamp on the Internal Affairs findings that Officer Matthew Janish’s actions were “lawful and proper.”
My exchanges with PARC executive director Clarence Vaughn III make me optimistic that the committee will approach this investigation from the perspective of a civilian. According to Vaughn, the PARC Board will share its questions about my case at the July 27 public meeting, which I will attend with family members and friends. Vaughn will meet with Internal Affairs and Chief David Rausch to share the Board’s concerns and questions regarding my complaint.
So friends, once again I am asking for your help. Below is contact info for PARC Board members and a form letter that you can edit and submit.
Clarence L. Vaughn, III
Police Advisory & Review Committee
For good measure: Mayor Madeline Rogero, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Insert Name,
My name is Insert Name I am writing this letter to show my support for Tonya Jameson in her complaint against Officer Matthew Janish. I urge your committee to sustain Ms. Jameson’s complaint and recommend disciplinary action against Officer Janish.
Although KPD Internal Affairs determined that Officer Janish’s actions were lawful, the entire incident reeks of implicit bias. Their encounter should’ve been settled with a question at minimum and at a maximum a 911 phone call. This was a misunderstanding that should not have escalated to the point that Ms. Jameson was held at gunpoint.
Officer Janish’s actions were based on his racial profiling of Ms. Jameson.
The moment, Ms. Jameson arrived at Officer Janish’s mother-in-law’s house she became a suspect. Officer Janish revealed that he thought Ms. Jameson was a teenage male. The fact Ms. Jameson arrived in an unmarked cab that sped away is not enough to warrant Officer Janish’s wielding a gun.
He came upon Ms. Jameson putting her license plate on a 12-year-old vehicle that he knew was for sale. It was parked next to a newer vehicle. She offered proof to show that she legally purchased the SUV from his mother-in-law. Yet, Officer Janish still held her at gunpoint.
While Ms. Jameson’s calm demeanor de-escalated the encounter, Officer Janish’s behavior defied common sense.
I urge your committee to not only sustain Ms. Jameson’s complaint and discipline Officer Janish, but also require that he undergo additional implicit bias training as well as de-escalation training that focuses on communication. Please consider some of the recommendations in the Campaign Zero Platform. This incident clearly demonstrates why de-escalation should begin with officers’ leaving their weapons holstered instead of standing in a modified tactical ready position prepared to fire on a law abiding citizen.
Thank you for your time,