No double standard when public safety is at stake

Wednesday, May 16, 2001 at 1:00am

Nothing erodes public respect and confidence in law enforcement faster than preferential treatment.

Nashvillians got a televised view Friday of how police respond to a situation that involves one of their own. Sgt. Mark Nelson, allegedly distraught over a failed love affair and the loss of his arrest privileges, was allowed to brandish weapons and hold off fellow officers in an Antioch neighborhood for almost four hours.

Nelson, separated from his wife, had been dating officer Melissa Vangyija. She reportedly ended the relationship and was seeing another officer. Thursday evening Vangyija called a police negotiator to say Nelson had sounded suicidal during a phone conversation.

SWAT officers went to Nelson

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