Knoxville Police Department’s Self-Investigation & District Attorney Charme Allen Fails to Satisfy Public
Outrage for Changes Across the Ranks, Including Police Chief
KNOXVILLE, TN – The recent death of Lisa Edwards, a disabled un-insured elderly white woman, while in police custody has caused widespread outrage and calls for accountability.
The Knoxville Police Department (KPD conducted a self-investigation into the incident, but it has failed to satisfy the public’s demands for justice and systemic changes in the department. While DA Allen was swift in recusing any criminal accountability especially murder.
DA Allen found that Lisa Edwards died due to a stroke while in police custody, but she did not address the department’s systemic issues that may have contributed to her death. The investigation also did not hold any officers accountable for their actions leading up to the incident.
In response to the local AG obstruction of justice investigation, community leaders and advocates are calling for changes across the ranks of the department, including the police chief. The public has lost faith in the KPD’s ability to police itself and demand an independent investigation into the incident.
“We cannot rely on the KPD to investigate itself & echo the sentiments of Ms Edwards Family Lawyer about the local agencies (hospital/police) self investigations” states Mayoral Candidate Constance Every; social entrepreneur & community activist advocating for justice for Edwards. “We need a DOJ investigation and accountability for the officers involved in Lisa’s death. We also need systemic changes in the department to ensure this never happens again.”
The community group Justice for Lisa Edwards found on Facebook; are demanding the following actions from the KPD:
- An independent investigation into Lisa Edwards’ death
- Accountability for the officers involved in Lisa Edwards’ death
- Systemic changes in the KPD, including training on de-escalation tactics and mental health awareness
“We will not rest until justice is served for Lisa Edwards, Anthony Thompson Jr, Robert Bailey, Sierra, the family whose love was killed in a car wreck with KPD, For Philly; & so many countless others awaiting and wondering if they will ever receive justice” said Constance Every, Mayoral Candidate.
“We demand action from the KPD and city officials to address the systemic issues in the department and ensure accountability for those responsible for Lisa’s death. As the new mayor it is priority to clean house in the Knoxville Police Department” states Every. The community advocates have held a rally and march in downtown Knoxville to demand justice for Lisa Edwards and systemic changes in the KPD.