Some Metro Council members were caught in a hot mic moment on Saturday, along with the Vice Mayor. One of the topics was ‘damage control’ for what happened during the interview of Arnold Hayes, a nominee for the Community Oversight Board.
Arnold Hayes is a “survivor of police misconduct”, nearly 4 decades prior, when a gun was pulled during a traffic stop. Part of that experience is what makes him want to serve on Nashville’s Community Oversight Board. During his interview last week, Metro Councilman Russ Pulley (recently accused of special treatment here) broke the standard carried out in every other interview, and began bringing up tweets Hayes made in the past, something no other council member did for any other nominee.
“There was one question, raised by Council Member Russ Pulley during my interview, from one of my Twitter Tweets that I deemed inappropriate and unrelated to the subject at hand.”
During the interview, Council member Russ Pulley asks Hayes to explain the police misconduct he experienced, then challenges him that the event may not have been racial profiling, despite how Hayes experienced it, first hand. It appeared as if Pulley did not believe there was racism in the criminal justice system, and that Hayes had never experienced it.
Pulley then says he wants to refer to the nominee’s twitter feed, and says “it’s quite clear that you’re active in the movement for the COB and began to respond to tweets that Hayes had posted or retweeted in reference to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., alleging they were racist, and repeatedly asked if Hayes believed there was racism in our criminal justice system, and further challenged that Hayes could not be unbiased if an allegation by a black victim against a white officer came before the board, making him repeat his answer. Pulley was eventually cut off by other council members.
The tweet in question was sent on April 4, 2018, on the anniversary of the assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin
Luther King and the announcement of the COB charter referendum.
The full video of the interview is below:
Here are the tweets that prompted Pulley’s questions:
Metro Council meets Tuesday night to elected the members of Nashville’s first Community Oversight Board.