|Randy Reed, "bad cop"|
On December 5, 2005 James Denham had picked up a prostitute, smoked crack, and then attempted two robberies before leading Metro Nashville officers on a car chase that ended at the Demonbreun Street Bridge. Metro Police Sergeant William Randy Reed straddled Denham and crouched over him to apply handcuffs. Just then, the officer's gun shot and discharged accidentally. A single bullet shot off Denham's thumb and then entered his back. Denham died of his injuries and his 12-year-old daughter filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city. Nashville Metro has agreed to pay $100,000 to Denham's daughter. (link)After putting Reed on a desk job for a while, he was fired.
This may be reason enough to conclude that Randy Reed should not serve on the Metro Council, but one could conclude it was an accidental shooting, not murder. He was not charged with a crime. And, if one was callous, one might say, "another piece of trash off the streets." Still, it was a wrongful shooting and the city settled a wrongful death lawsuit. If that was all there was, that would be bad enough but that is not all there is. It is worst.
This is from The Tennessean archives:
On Feb. 1, 1973, Reed answered a call on Crenshaw Street in Nashville, a short, dark alley near Lafayette Street, moments after Cedric Overton, 21, was shot four times by a rookie Metro officer. The rookie officer said Overton had moved suddenly with a metal object in his hand. But when officers searched the man, they found that Overton was unarmed, police said at the time.
Reed, after searching the area, claimed to have found the knife near Overton's body, possibly under pressure from a sergeant, according to published reports.
This should never be acceptable! It is amazing that a police officer can plant a knife on the scene, framing a dead man, have the department conclude he did it and still only get a 30-day suspension! I hope that would not be the outcome if such was to happen today. Planting evidence should be "one strike and your out." There should be no second chance. A 30-day suspension should be for padding your time sheet or unlawfully using a police vehicle for personal errands or missing roll call too many times. Officers found guilty of planting evidence at the scene of a crime should not only lose their job, they should go to prison! This should be a deadly serious matter. With "justice" like this, one can understand the distrust of the police by many in the Black community and the militancy of many Blacks. One can understand the "Black lives matter" mantra.An internal review by Metro police officials determined that the knife was planted. Reed was suspended for 30 days under a provision of department policy that includes dishonesty, immoral conduct and insubordination, department records indicate. The officer who shot Overton was fired, and a sergeant retired within days of the incident.
Randy Read list has his qualification for serving in the Council as "my 30-plus years on the police department." The truth is he was a bad cop. He got away with planting evidence and that should be a crime, and he killed someone in a killing that was a "wrongful death." That is in the past and nothing can be done about it now, but he does not deserve to become a leader of our city and serve on the Metro Council.