Nashville council member believes suspected bomber would have been investigated if he were a person of color

Bob Mendes, an at-large member of the Nashville metro council, appeared Wednesday on Erin Burnett OutFront, where he addressed the fact that Nashville police were warned about suspected Christmas Day bomber Anthony Quinn Warner in August 2019. Warner’s girlfriend at the time, Pamela Perry, told police that Warner was building bombs in the RV at his residence. Attorney Raymond Throckmorton told police that Warner frequently talked about the military and bomb-making, and that he believed Warner was capable of making a bomb.

Officers knocked on Warner’s door but got no answer, and an officer from the explosives unit tried for more than a week to reach Warner but was unable to make contact. Supervisors were notified of the incident, but the police never got enough evidence to obtain a search warrant and the matter was never fully investigated.

“This has to be graded a loss by law enforcement,” Mendes said. “They had all the pertinent information 16 months ago, and somehow it slipped through the cracks.”

Mendes believes that under different circumstances, Warner would have been further pursued.

“They didn’t get to the finish line,” Mendes said. “And we know that locally, if it were a person of color or if it had been maybe drugs involved, meth instead of bomb-making, it almost certainly would have been investigated. They never tried to get a warrant, and locally, we’re gonna want to know why that is.”

Nashville Chief of Police John Drake defended the actions of his officers at a press conference Wednesday afternoon, saying, “Hindsight is 20/20.”

Mendes says Drake left too much unanswered.

“The chief of police didn’t have answers today for even whether this complaint had been cleared or just got lost on somebody’s desk,” Mendes said. “I don’t think we have enough answers right now.”

Erin Burnett OutFront airs weeknights at 7 p.m. on CNN.

Watch the neighbor of the Nashville bombing suspect recall their last conversation: ‘Nashville and the world will never forget me’:

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