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Three Nashville police officers suspended without pay over botched apartment raid in 2020

Initially, Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake stripped the officers of their policing powers after they executed a search warrant on what he called at the time “stale information.”

The officers used a battering ram to force open a Nashville apartment’s door shortly after 6:00 a.m. on August 18, after they announced themselves. They were looking for a teenager connected to a property crimes investigation. Officials later learned the teen had not lived at that address in months. No one was injured.

On Friday in a press release, Drake announced disciplinary measures, which include suspensions without pay.

One of the officers, a lieutenant and 12-year veteran, has been demoted to sergeant and will be suspended for 10 days without pay, according to the release. A 22-year veteran sergeant will be suspended for 30 days without pay and is subject to demotion to a police officer if he violates department policy over the next five years. A five-year veteran will receive a 20-day suspension without pay, the release said.

“The discipline given to the three is significant, as were the missteps in the preparation and execution of this search warrant,” Drake said in the release. “All three admitted to violating our policies and procedures and are being held accountable.”

All three have agreed that the sanctions are non-appealable and are final, the release said.

At the time of the raid, Drake said he was “greatly disturbed” by the body-camera footage, which showed the officer announcing themselves, pounding on the door and forcing themselves in with a battering ram.

The footage captured the voice of a young woman from inside the apartment: “What is going on?” she asks. As police continued forcing the door open, she screamed, “I don’t have any clothes on!” Drake said in a press conference after the incident.

“Even as the mother approached the door and you can hear her comments, having communications with the officers, we can’t come to the conclusion on why they couldn’t have given her a little more time at 6:05 a.m.,” Drake said after the raid. “It’s reasonable to believe that anyone at 6:05 could be (a)sleep, could need time to get dressed, assess whatever was going on. For whatever reason, that wasn’t provided.”

In all candor, this shouldn’t have happened,” Drake said. “This mother and her children should not have been subjected to this type of behavior from a police department.”

CNN’s Aya Elamroussi contributed to this report.

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