In a climate of racial animosity and suspicion not seen in decades, police officers increasingly put themselves at risk if they happen to be a white officer coming to the aid of a black victim.

Twice in the same day, Nashville police officers were attacked by black mobs, putting one in the hospital and both on medical leave.

Officer Matthew Cammarn, a former recipient of the Nashville Officer of the Year award, stepped in to assist a black woman who was being assaulted by 22-year-old Brian Shannon, but became the victim himself as another man jumped on him and an angry mob joined in, kicking and punching him.

The incident occurred at the James Cayce public housing development, and was recorded by dozens who watched it unfold, yelling obscenities at the officer and cheering on the attackers.

Eventually, back-up officers were able to rescue Cammarn and take Shannon into custody, where he remains charged with felony aggravated assault on a police officer, resisting and evading arrest, criminal trespassing, disorderly conduct and drug possession.

A 17-year old was also arrested, and police issued an arrest warrant for Michael Cortez Mays, 26, after receiving information from multiple calls to the city’s “tip-line,” which pays cash for leads to the arrest of suspects.

Mays, who has a long criminal record, turned himself in after learning he had been identified from cell phone video.

In an unrelated incident at the same housing project less than 24-hours later, Officer Josh Hausman was injured while attempting to intervene in a physical dispute between two women over the same man.

Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson told reporters, “I want to be clear that attacks on police officers are absolutely unacceptable and will not be tolerated by this city.”

Mayor Megan Barry also offered support to the police, saying, “Attacks on our police officers are outrageous. In order to quell further acts of violence, the East Precinct will have an increased presence in the area,” noting similar attacks would be prosecuted to the “fullest extent of the law.”

The response from Nashville’s mayor and police chief are a far cry from how officials in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore officials have chosen to address racial violence against police in their cities.


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