Is it Proper for DA’s Office & Public to Give Gifts/Money to Nashville Police Officer?

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hausman pre surgery
Hausman pre-surgery on 4/19 Courtesy

Recently, Metro Nashville Police (MNPD) Officer Josh Hausman was injured on the job, when a suspect stabbed him in his left hand – and after some stitches at the hospital was at home recovering within a few hours of the incident. He had surgery yesterday to repair some ligaments in the hand, but is expected have a full recovery. While we wish officer Hausman the best in his recovery, we want to take a deeper look at donations and gifts in situations like these. Why would the be acceptable in some situations and not others? Where does that line fall? Some are apparently even approved by the MNPD since they facilitated some of the gifts when called for questions about how many in the family and logistics when a restaurant donated a large meal and gift card to the officer.

On any given day in Nashville could you, as a citizen, walk up to an officer and hand them $50 in cash and say “use this as you need it, thank you”. How about if you worked for the District Attorney’s office, that prosecutes the officer’s cases after they make the arrest – would it be proper for them to walk up to an officer and hand them $50 cash money to “help with bills”? Certainly these instances would seem to go against any ethics policy? As a general rule, this could create the perception that cash was being given for a favor, whether it actually was or not.

cashWhat if the officer you gave $50 cash to pulls you over in a traffic stop a few weeks later – would he be more or less inclined to issue a citation or arrest, or let you by with a warning? Situations such as this should make any officer not accept donations. So, the question becomes – why is OK for these donations to be made online and be “acceptable” when in person they would likely be refused without question? Is is just because the was injured on the job? Certainly it’s common for a ‘bucket’ to be passed around the office (to other police officers, etc…) but the general public making donations directly to an officer and his family is something that is new in recent history.

All of this has come about as someone has set up a GoFundMe in the Officer’s name (reportedly by a friend of the family, Rhonda Lewis Hagar) – to collect donations/gifts for this officer because she claims he will “be out of work for a while” – making it seem as if he is not being paid for his on the job injury as a police officer. We can’t imagine that Metro would not take care of their own, either via workman’s comp or insurance or light duty, etc… We can’t imagine a world in which Metro would leave this officer with all those medical bills when his injury occurred in the line of duty. So if he is still getting some sort of income or salary and is bills are being taken care of, why would it be OK for the public to give gifts to this officer? They are asking for $10,000 dollars for this officer. The text of the request is below.

gofundme screenshot

Here is the description of the fundraiser request:

“Josh was involved in an incident earlier this week here in Nashville while working and protecting the citizens of Davidson County..  Doing his job that he took an oath to do! Something he loves to do.  On Monday night, 4/11/16 while answering a call.  He was cut/stabbed in the hand.  The suspect is still at large.  Josh was taken to the hospital to get his hand stitched and will now require surgery for damage to the tendons in his hand.  He will be out of work for a while. In the meantime he and his wife just closed on a new house.  This was supposed to be a very happy time for them, but his injury has now created some hardship for his family. They have 3 small kids!!!  We are trying to help them move into their new home over the next couple of weeks and get settled in. This is also help with any other bills they may incur.  Josh does his job knowing that each day he is leaving his wife and children at home, like every other officer, not knowing what the next call he answers has instore[sic] for him. If you can help them out, the link is here just click it and do your thing! “

Take a look at this Donation, publicly listed on the GoFundMe site, from Jenny Charles, Nashville ADA:

donation da jenny charles

ada jenny charlesSo where the line drawn? On any regular day we could not walk up and hand this officer $50 in cash as a gift, but just because he was injured it’s suddenly ok? Is it OK because it’s online? Is it OK because it’s to a friend of the family and then that friend donates the gits(s) to the officer? Does that pass the ethics test? Let’s take this up a notch – one of the donations is from Assistant District Attorney Jenny Charles – a person is in a position to prosecute cases that officer Hausman makes arrests for. Is that proper or improper? I’m sure a good defense attorney would have a field day if Hausman arrested a suspect, and Charles prosecuted him, and the public record of the donation came up, especially if it’s not reported by Hausman. Certainly that’s a case that would be interesting and likely reviewed if it was not outright dismissed. As you can see she didn’t make the donation as a personal matter, but rather in the comments made sure to note that she was part of the DA’s office in Nashville and that it was done on behalf of her professionally.

Another company, Mission BBQ, contacted MNPD to facilitate details in order to make their donation – of both a monetary gift card and food for the officer and his family:

mission bbq hausman post

We asked some people about this article before publication, and almost all of them had the same question – just how much does a police officer make in Nashville for their salary? So we have included the salary ranges below that are current via the MNPD website:

mnpd pay scale

What do you think Nashville? Is it OK and proper to donate gifts (cash/food/other) to officers because they are injured, or at any time just out of the blue? Is it only proper during these times, or any time, or never at all? Did the ADA create a conflict when she gave money to the officer’s GoFundMe campaign. Is the GoFundMe skirting any ethical issues since it’s going to a friend of the family first, then to the officer, ever though all names of people that donated are available to the officer and the public on the website? We’d love to hear your thoughts – sound off in the comments or on our Facebook post!

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15 Thoughts to “Is it Proper for DA’s Office & Public to Give Gifts/Money to Nashville Police Officer?”

  1. Kelly

    Go fund me can be used by ANYONE for anything. They are not making people donate, this is a free will thing. Just like the lady who spent her entire savings to buy lotto tickets and is now broke because she didn’t win. I would rather donate to the injured than people who want boob jobs. Get over it.

  2. Melissa

    I am so mad at this article. How could you post something so ignorant. Do you know this officers struggles through this entire process? Do you know his pay was cut? Do you know he has pt 2/3 times a week? Do you know he pushes through the pain at home and work his hand as often as he can so he can get back to work sooner? Why don’t you talk about how this man has stopped on the side of the road off duty, time out his day, to help stranded motorists? Why don’t you talk about how he, his wife, and family bring gift cards, blankets, socks, gloves, food downtown to the homeless?! Did you know that? He uses his money to help other people. How many gofundme accounts are set up for officers who have been hurt on the job? How is this news? Did you donate? Did you cook food for their family? Did you help them move? Did you help now grass? Why bash some one and hurt them when they are struggling? They need help. Show some respect. Show some love. Whoever have these photos is a heartless sob. Karma will come to get you.

  3. Tammy

    This is absolutely absurd… Someone was injured and was therefore unable to work during recovery which meant a loss in pay for that period of time. No one just handed him money as a bribe (or could-be bribe), they offered him and his family relief from the financial stress that an injury of this sort causes. No different than if someone had been diagnosed with a major illness or had to have major surgery. Apples and oranges.

  4. Vicki Brewster

    I am outraged at this article! This entire family has a heart of gold and would literally give the shirt off their back to anyone who needs it. Now, rather than respecting their privacy and moving on, someone is not only starting a debate on whether this family is deserving of help and betraying the privacy of the family by using their personal social media accounts to do so. Did you verify permission to use their posts or photos? Did you even check to see if they were made public before using them? This is beyond invading their privacy. I hope that while tou wonder about gifts being brought up in court, you are preparing for the possibility of your own actions being brought into light in the justice system.

  5. WOW!!!! This is some cold hearted shit…. It’s easy for some pencil pushing pussy sitting safely behind his desk in his office or home to criticize, I hear it a lot, But to drag down an officer who puts it all on the line every day he or she puts on that uniform is beyond contempt…. I am SO pissed…. Not just for this officer but for all officers I would enjoy nothing more than pounding you until you need medical care also, but I won’t because I’m a better man than you. however, if I hear it has happened I will smile.

  6. You'reWorse ThanFox

    The author of this article is a massive piece of shit and I hope they never have to endure what that officer endured. Fuck you, east nashville “news”

  7. Michelle

    Why do people have to take something good and kind that one human being was trying to do for another and turn it into something shady and deceitful?I personally can’t think of a better cause to give money to than a police officer that was injured in the line of duty.Would you have found it more acceptable if they were trying to raise funds to pay for his funeral?Shame on you for being so small minded.

  8. Debbie Conway

    Everyone has the ability to donate anonymously, so how can that be considered a bribe if Josh and Angel don’t know who it came from. They are gifts from the heart. Don’t make something so sincere and hearfelt into political crap! And I make sure any of the political parties going against this didn’t get re-elected.

  9. Ellebee

    Many officers work extra jobs to help pay the bills. That income opportunity is lost while out injured. What does anyone care if he gets donations? Who cares where the donor works? This article is a low blow.

  10. Sarah

    Additional research is needed for this piece to be substantive. Although it appears the premise is to suggest that any acts of good will are done for future favors- the facts and assumptions are grossly represented. Any place where this author has written ” I can’t imagine a world where….” could be pursued for facts. We also hear much about “relationship based policing”. The outcomes of relationships are often good deeds, care and compassion. Three things that I thought were being developed all over Nashville but particularly in the emerging East Nashville community. In most writing – there are declaratives. Objectives if you will. This article appears to be written in a way to elicit controversy. More concerning is that the photos were used without explicit permission from those in the images. reputable news agencies generally develop rapport with those they portray or have images that would be readily available in public domains.
    Over all I can’t imagine a world where this is a responsible or appropriate approach to what someone sees as a topic of interest. Had the article offered opinion from multiple perspectives … maybe. The term you may be looking for is conflict of interest and maybe conflict of commitment. Evidence of such is not presented here.

  11. Sarah

    Although this msg doesn’t need to be posted publicly I would ask you from a concerned mother’s perspective to
    remove His wife’s name from the tags. This article implies there’s an ethical issue based on financial gain but gave no regard to the fact that this officer has a wife and family that have now been identified publicly and connected to him. In the same style as the author ” what if someone Officer Hausman has been in contact with decides to retaliate against him by injuring his family” This news organization would be responsible in a significant way.

    1. Melissa

      I wonder if anything happened to the family, would not only fall on the news article but also the person who gave the photos and information……

  12. Tina

    Way to go liberal east Nashville! Next time you are in trouble don’t call the police call the people “who would agree with your post before you post it” you are absurd and need an reality check!

  13. Envy? Jealousy? I am having trouble understanding why this article was written. This can’t be the first fund raising website set up for an injured officer. Why single this one out? Yes the author used general terms thru part of this article but he also refers to this officer by name. What about other officers? Where are their names? Why are there private photos shared of this officer in the hospital which could have only been gotten by a so called friend off of the wife’s private social media account? Where are the pics of the other officers? Why is the wife of this officer involved at all if this is a question about criminal justice system ethics and police policy?
    And posting the annual salary of mnpd was suppose to help this article? Not to anyone who knows the cost of living in the Nashville area is extremely high and most officers work 2nd and 3rd jobs to live there.
    We ask are communities to rally around our officers and when they do you bash them in the media.
    Those involved writing this and contributing to this article should be ashamed of themselves. Singling out one officer just proves that it is a private vendetta against him and his family and this reporter should have seen that and refused to write the story that is unless he is friends with the jealous source of the info. That just makes him as vile as they are. (BTW we know)

  14. Karme

    WOW First off this whole website sounds like a keyboard gangster that is NOT a Nashville Native. I think the stories you are posting are really just plain stupid, and you are messing with people’s livelihood. As for this Officer, if someone wants to raise money for him so be it…how many other people that have insurance are out there with a Go Fund me account? Seriously, this officer is doing a job at keeping our community safe, their job is not an easy job. They walk on ice all day around here because people like you with your lil cellphone, computer, keyboard whatever wants to record or blog about every single thing you see. I am a daughter of a retired Metro (NASHVILLE) SGT. and growing up I seen a lot of stuff that my mom had to go through being on the police force. What if this guy is a single dad? really it doesn’t matter if someone wants to do a kind gesture and raise money for a human being who they care about..then its none of your business. I am sure you sit behind your computer all day thinking your such a bad ass because you blog about ruining people’s lives. You are probably some dork who got picked on in high school, never went to prom and never had any fun in life because your pathetic. I know you get off on people getting upset and replying to your immature stories. OH AND YOU NEED SPELLCHECK you have more typos than a 3rd grader.

    You lil keyboard gangster are classified as a douche bag and it seems like you’re trying to be just like the ha!


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