Specifically, we requested all records from 2007 to today involving allegations of child sex abuse at the church and school.
Initially, we got no response to our three requests, and the department claims it did not get our request. Fair enough — maybe it went into a spam folder somewhere.
Then we got the big brush-off from a supervisor, who tried telling us she didn’t have authority to get documents from other departments. We pointed out that she works for the police department, and it’s police department records we are seeking.
Next up was the claim that the department didn’t have enough information to proceed. That begs the question: Which Covenant Presbyterian did you think we were asking about? But, to be clear, we added the street address for the church and school.
Finally, we got a denial because none of our team lives in Tennessee.
And while the state permits withholding records on this basis, nothing prohibits the department from releasing these records.
Nor are we asking for the home addresses of police officers, their phone numbers, or anything else that is inappropriate or risky. In other words, there is no reason to deny our request.
We are talking about these children’s lives and whistleblowers who the church has profoundly hurt. Now is not the time to play games, and the public has the right to know what’s happening behind the scenes — particularly when the police department has aided and abetted retaliation against the whistleblower, Austin Davis.
For the record, we are tenacious and will find a way to get access to records involving pedophile John Perry, his so-called “safe house,” and child sexual abuse at the church/school.
In the meantime, if anyone in Tennessee wants to request the records, please go for it. We can help you with the request and any costs involved.
Children everywhere deserve better, and it’s a shameful day for Nashville when the police department and the church won’t come clean. And parents of students at the school have a right to this information as they make plans for the education of the children.
Below is the PDF you need to complete if you want to help us. The address to request records is MNPDPublicRecordsRequests@nashville.gov. Best to request documents via email, as that typically eliminates or reduces costs.
The officer in charge of the records division is:
Captain Brian J. Williams
Central Records Division
Crime Scene Investigations
811 Anderson Lane
Madison, TN 37115