Board member: 'Unconscious racism' caused Knoxville officer's response


A police department's civilian review board has publicly disagreed with the handling of a confrontation between a white off-duty officer and a black woman he held at gunpoint. The Knoxville News Sentinel reports a majority of the committee's members disagreed with the Knoxville police chief's decision to not discipline Officer Matthew Janish, who held 45-year-old Tonya Jameson at gunpoint outside the home of his mother-in-law in Jefferson County in May. Frank Shanklin, a black member of committee says he thinks "unconscious racism" caused the officer's response. Jameson was changing out a license plate on an SUV she had bought from Janish's mother-in-law when the officer confronted her. She says she complied with his commands and repeatedly tried to prove ownership of the vehicle, but he kept his gun pointed at her. Janish's wife later confirmed the sale.