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NAACP leader in Tennessee finds target in front yard

Police initially dismissed the idea that the bull's-eye was a possible threat, the NAACP Nashville president said.

An NAACP chapter president in Tennessee who found a target in his front yard over the weekend said Sunday that police initially dismissed the idea that the object could signal a potential threat.

Image: Target in Tennessee backyard
Keith Caldwell, the NAACP chapter president in Nashville, Tenn., found a target at his house on Saturday, May 9, 2020.Courtesy of Keith Caldwell

Keith Caldwell, a pastor who has led the Nashville chapter of the civil rights organization for two years, told NBC News that he found the bull's-eye atop a folding stand outside his home Saturday night.

Someone had climbed over his locked fence to put it there, he said.

Caldwell said he wasn't sure who did it, but he called a non-emergency number for the Metro Nashville Police Department to file a report. A responding officer asked him why it was there, Caldwell said.

"I said, 'That's what I'm calling you for,'" Caldwell said. "He said, 'It's pretty cool.'"

Caldwell said he told the officer that he viewed the target as a threat, telling him: "'I'm a black man in this country. I'm the president of the NAACP.' He was still dismissive."

The officer left, said Caldwell, who then published a Facebook post about the incident.

A police spokesman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, but in a statement the department told Nashville Public Radio that the officer's conduct is under review.

Caldwell added that after he published the post, the department was more responsive. He heard from a captain and other officials in city government.

"It's been a complete 180," he said.