Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson is blowing the whistle on alleged misconduct by the U.S. Secret Service during a January 2013 incident involving a man who reportedly made fake death threats against President Barack Obama on Facebook.
The resident refused to let officers enter his home or follow orders to come outside . He was heard shouting at officers, “show me your warrant.”
In a letter to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Anderson claimed that a Secret Service agent asked a police sergeant to “wave a piece of paper” in order to “dupe” the suspect into thinking officers had a warrant.
Officers with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department did not comply with the request, according to the police chief. Police officers ultimately determined that Secret Service agents had no legal basis to enter the resident’s home and the suspect didn’t actually threaten anyone. Fortunately, the situation was resolved without incident and law enforcement left.
In a past letter to then-Secret Service Director Julia Pierson and Assistant Director A.T. Smith, Anderson explained that the incident could have “escalated into a serious and/or embarrassing situation for both of our agencies” if MNPD officers complied with the Secret Service “directive.”
The police chief says he later received a “condescending and dismissive” call from Smith.
“I realized that I was being told, in a polite manner, to mind my own affairs,” Anderson recalled.
Still not satisfied, Anderson reportedly took his concerns to the Secret Service office in Nashville, where he asked an official: “Do you think it is appropriate to wave a piece of paper in the air and tell him you have a warrant when you do not have a warrant?”
“I don’t know. I’m not a lawyer,” the official reportedly answered.
Now, Anderson is putting the matter in the hands of U.S. Congress as lawmakers investigate the several scandals and missteps that have occurred within the Secret Service.
You can read Anderson’s entire letter to members of Congress as well as his past letter to the Secret Service here.
Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tennessee) called the allegations an “abuse of power” and agreed an American’s “constitutional rights” were compromised.
“You can’t steamroll a citizen of this country because we all have rights,” he told NewsChannel 5.
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