Voters in Nashville have approved an amendment to the city’s governing document that creates a new citizen-led panel to oversee the actions of police. 

A coalition of social justice activists called Community Oversight Now led the push for the new panel as way to create a check over alleged claims of racial bias and other controversial actions of police, the Tennessean reports.

The Nashville Fraternal Order of Police, the city’s police union, mounted a well-financed opposition to fight the charter amendment, pumping more than $500,000 into television ads and other campaign activity to fight the proposal.

James Smallwood, president of the Nashville Fraternal Order of Police, said in a statement: “While the Fraternal Order of Police remains firm in its belief that this board will only create a divide between law enforcement and the public, we recognize that the voters have spoken, and we will respect the rule of law and the will of the people we serve.”

Still, he said his organization has “sincere concerns about the many flaws” that exist in the amendment.

“While it is our intention to respect the rule of law and work with the administration as they implement this new legislation, we fully intend to stand alongside our members and ensure that their rights are preserved, they deserve nothing less,” said Smallwood. 

 

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