This story is brought to you by Scoop: Nashville as part of the #bspotter / #VisitMusicCity series which features tourist and downtown-related arrests in Music City.
Last weekend in Nashville, a Metro Nashville Police officer stopped to pose for a photo with the Valhalla crew, who have prominently been involved in some of the most recent major street takeovers across Nashville. Around the same time as the impromptu photo shoot with members whose hoodies read “Fuck Metro PD” across the back, an officer gave chase to a street racer, but his patrol car wasn’t able to catch up. As the car sported a fake license plate, there was no immediate way to trace the vehicle to its owner, although Scoop: Nashville confirmed the driver later swapped their license plate and rims before police knocked on their door, making the car hard to confirm, and no arrest was made.
Neighbors in Antioch, who already have response times in the hours for calls to police on the weekend, say they get no relief even if they call to report the illegal street racing and shutdowns. The street racers (a term coined by MNPD, they do not embrace that name for themselves) have successfully shut down intersections across Nashville with almost no enforcement. Even when the police arrive at their meets and side shows before the takeovers, they are outnumbered by at least 100:1, so enforcement is basically catching the last couple of cars as they leave so they can make a social media push about how they arrested a “street racer,” which is only for show, and does nothing to appease frustrated neighbors who deal with the noise until the early hours of the morning.
Previously, Metro Nashville Police escorted ATVs through intersections during takeovers, to avoid any escalation or safety issues, making a handful of minor arrests, which were later dismissed. In a 2019 Highway shutdown, they were powerless to do anything but watch as hundreds of cars dispersed throughout the city.
The “friendly” response is nothing new for Metro Nashville Police. In 2014, about 450 people marched through downtown Nashville in solidarity with Ferguson, Mo., blocking streets and interstates. The police department brought them hot chocolate as they shut down traffic on a major interstate.
More meets, sideshows, and street takeovers are planned in the coming weeks, according to multiple groups who routinely participate in the events.