Nashville Man With Mental Issues Executed by Nashville Police

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Video shows Joshua Kersey is lying defenseless on his back with arms spread when MNPD opens fire at near point blank range

The family of Joshua Kersey, the 30-year-old man needlessly shot and killed by an officer with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department (MNPD), has hired renowned national civil rights attorney Harry Daniels and top personal injury attorney Marwan Porter as they struggle to understand why Kersey was killed while he lay defenseless on his back in the midst of a mental health crisis.

According to the MNPD, Kersey’s sister and mother called 911 after a heated argument and reported that they were frightened and Kersey had severe mental issues. The department’s Crisis Intervention Team, which was established specifically to respond to mental health crises, was not dispatched and MNPD officers responded to the call. A standoff ensued with Kersey holding an adult male hostage with a knife. Instead of de-escalating the situation, however, the officers quickly decided to use deadly force. In fact, only three minutes after entering the house, Officer Cole Ranseen can clearly be heard on video saying “If I get a shot, I’m taking it.”

Before mental health professionals could arrive on the scene, the officers burst through the door into the room where Kersey and the unidentified male had been struggling and found Kersey lying on his back with his arms spread wide and posing no threat. That’s when, without warning, Officer Ranseen does exactly what he’d threatened to do and shoots the defenseless Kersey at near point blank range. As an afterthought, Ranseen directs Kersey to “Drop it” after he’d already shot him. Kersey died at the scene.

“The video makes it absolutely clear that Officer Ranseen had no intention of arresting Joshua Kersey,” said Daniels. “He decided he was going to kill him within minutes of entering that house. It didn’t matter that he was lying on his back and wasn’t a threat to anyone. It didn’t matter that his arms were spread and visible. It didn’t matter that he was going through a mental health crisis. He had already decided to gun him down and that’s exactly what he did.”

“Officer Ranseen executed a defenseless man. There’s no other way to say it,” said Porter. “From the beginning he showed a total disregard for life. He decided Joshua Kersey needed to die and nothing was going to stop him.”

They attorneys say they are currently reviewing all available options and expect legal action to be forthcoming.

Click HERE for body camera video and 911 audio of the incident.

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