Nashville Police officer who protected people from gunman now facing charges in 2018 fatal shooting

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NASHVILLE, TN – An October 2018 fatal shooting of a man alleged to have been involved in a shootout by a then-security guard wound up resulting in no charges after an investigation concluded in February of 2019

Around the same time the investigation concluded, the then-security guard was admitted to the police academy and eventually became a Nashville Police officer. 

Come November of 2020, the Nashville Police officer is now being charged with second-degree murder for the shooting just weeks after being decommissioned of his policing authority due to alleged social media posts from 2013. 

Here’s the background on this case. 

Nathan Glass is the 26-year-old Nashville Police officer currently facing charges of second-degree murder for the shooting death of 25-year-old Deangelo Knox, which took place outside of a Nashville restaurant called The Pharmacy. 

In October of 2018, Glass was working as a security guard for the restaurant when Knox was allegedly involved in some sort of a shootout with three assailants inside of an Impala while Know was in his vehicle. 

Reportedly, Knox had crashed his vehicle into another car after his vehicle was met with gunfire, and exited the car while running with his weapon in hand. 

Knox was alleged to then start heading toward Glass with the gun in hand and pointed toward him. So, Glass allegedly shot Knox fatally. 

After what was a months-long investigation, an assistant district attorney, Pamela Anderson, determined in February of 2019 that prosecutors couldn’t refute Glass’s claiming of self-defense and defense of others patrons. 

Namely because surveillance footage of the incident captured couldn’t confirm or dispel that the gun Knox had was pointed at Glass. 

However, Anderson is no longer with the DA’s office – for reasons unspecified – and now the case is moving forward with charges. Thus, Glass was arrested on November 12th. 

Glass has since bonded out under a $50,000 bond and is being represented by defense attorney David Raybin who is pointing to the previous conclusion reached back in March of 2019 by the DA’s office: 

“The District Attorney’s Office had earlier conducted an extensive review of this case and concluded that ‘the video does corroborate that Mr. Glass had a reasonable belief that his life and the lives of others were at risk.’ We agree with that assessment.”

Apparently the NAACP of Nashville has inserted themselves in this case, because Glass is white and Knox is black. They’re assisting the family of Knox with both the criminal proceedings and a civil suit in relation to the fatal shooting. 

NAACP of Nashville President Sheryl Guinn claims that Glass should have never opened fire on Knox within his role as a security guard: 

“The shooting was unjustifiable. He had no reason to be in that situation at all. Nathan Glass was in a restaurant and all he needed to do was secure the restaurant and call the police.”

[Editor’s note: Ironically, we can’t help but point out that had Nathan Glass done exactly what Guinn suggested, and the police arrived, had a gun pointed at them, and shot Knox, Guinn would have found some other reason why the officer- if white- was unjustified in the shooting.] 

The recent charges also happen to come just weeks after the Nashville Police Department decommissioned Glass from his endowed authorities, pending an investigation into some social media posts from 2013. 

These various social media posts were unearthed by none other than the NAACP on October 20th, 2020, alleging that they were racist and promoted shooting and violence

However, the posts in question consisted of three anti-Obama pictures on Instagram, which were primarily poking fun at the then-president (two were signs outside of gun stores and one was someone’s window sticker that made the word Obama in an acronym that read “One Big Ass Mistake America”).

And the remaining posts were photos of Glass posing with guns on hunting or target practice trips and one showing his target that he shot at, boating about his marksmanship. 

Yet, by October 27th of 2020, Interim Police Chief John Drake decided to relieve Glass of his policing authority. 

Glass’ attorney says that he will be pleading “not guilty” when the case goes to trial. 

This is a developing story. 

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we gather updates on this case. 

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In California, a police officer is also facing charges of manslaughter for reportedly shooting an armed suspect. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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SAN LEANDRO, CA – A California police officer is facing a voluntary manslaughter charge more than four months after shooting an accused shoplifter in a Walmart store. 

The Alameda County District Attorney announced Wednesday that she has filed a criminal complaint against Officer Jason Fletcher. 

In a statement posted to the department website, District Attorney Nancy O’Malley wrote: 

“The decision to file the criminal complaint was made after an intensive investigation and thorough analysis of the evidence and the current law.” 

The statement goes on to say: 

“When there is use of force by a police officer that results in death, the District Attorney’s Office conducts an independent and thorough investigation of the facts. We are mandated to apply those facts to California law.” 

Officer Fletcher’s body camera captured his interaction with 33-year-old Steven Taylor just inside the front doors of the store on April 18. 

In a matter of less than 40 seconds video shows the situation escalates to gunfire. 

In the same statement announcing the case against Officer Fletcher, the district attorney goes into detail about what happened in the minutes leading up to the shooting. 

It says on April 18 around 3 p.m., security guards reported a shoplifter holding a baseball bat. 

The shoplifter, Taylor, was reportedly trying to leave the Walmart with an aluminum baseball bat and a tent. Store security asked him to stop and return the products before calling police. 

The statement says Officer Fletcher responded. He got to the store as another patrol car was also pulling in to park. 

Simultaneously, inside the store, District Attorney O’Malley said two other customers tried to help Taylor. One of them offered him money, which he declined. 

He told security he would instead wait for police. He was still standing by the shopping cart area when the video shows Officer Fletcher walk in. 

The statement describes what happened next:

“He grabbed the bat with his left hand and attempted to take the bat from Mr. Taylor’s right hand. Officer Fletcher pulled out his service pistol at the same time he tried to take the bat from Mr. Taylor.” 

The video shows Taylor back away and Officer Fletcher pull his taser and order him to “drop the bat man, drop the bat.” 

The district attorney said Officer Fletcher first tased Taylor and then shot him in the chest just as back-up was walking in. 

Her statement said: 

“Mr. Taylor clearly experienced the shock of the taser as he was leaning forward over his feet and stumbling forward. Mr. Taylor was struggling to remain standing as he pointed the bat at the ground.

Mr. Taylor posed no threat of imminent deadly force or serious bodily injury to defendant Fletcher or anyone else in the store.

Defendant Fletcher shot Mr. Taylor in the chest just as backup Officer Overton arrived in the store.” 

She said the choice to shoot, coupled with a failure to try to de-escalate the situation, made the use of deadly force unreasonable. 

Officer Fletcher is scheduled to appear in court on September 15. 

Local breaking news reporter David DeBolt tweeted about the announcement: 

“BREAKING: Alameda County DA Nancy O’Malley has filed voluntary manslaughter charges against San Leandro Police Officer Jason Fletcher in the killing of Steven Taylor inside WalMart in April.

First officer in Alameda County charged in a killing since Johannes Mehserle.” 

A dozen Twitter users responded with mixed opinions. 

Twitter user Kevin Beck posted: 

“So charge him when one knows a jury of 12 isn’t going to find him guilty, waste of taxpayers money. They tased him twice and if he had a baseball bat in his hands and coming at the officers, all it takes is one person to find him not guilty which is easy to do.”

Twitter user Lance Manion, who says he is former law enforcement, responded too. His (now deleted) tweet reads: 

“As former law enforcement, I can say I was trained to shoot in this situation. It’s tragic for the life lost. And now an officer is facing felony charges for doing what he was taught to do. This sucks on every level. Just like our country right now.” 

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