Articles Tagged with Tennessee

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city-3195717_1920-300x200After a lively debate, the Metropolitan Council of Nashville, Tennessee has agreed to renew its participation in a controversial federal civil asset forfeiture program called “equitable sharing.” Opponents from both the left and the right argue the program encourages “policing for profit.”

Civil asset forfeiture is the legal procedure where law enforcement can seize an individual’s property or cash without filing criminal charges. In most states, all that is required is the suspicion that the property was involved in a crime. In a criminal case, the burden of proof lies with the prosecution. In Tennessee, in cases where a vehicle is seized, however, the burden of proving innocence lies with the property owner.
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A bill giving new protections for people involved in civil asset forfeiture has now passed both houses of the Tennessee legislature. If Governor Haslam signs it into law, it may become easier for people to regain property seized by law enforcement.

The bill passed the State Senate with unanimous support and was supported by both civil rights and libertarian groups. “This is a rare bill because you had the ACLU on one side and the Beacon Center on the other, and they both agreed on it,” said Sen. Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga), who cosponsored the bill. Continue reading

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Tennessee lawmakers proposed a bill on February 28 they believe will increase security in schools in response to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida that left 17 dead.

The bill, called the School Safety Act of 2018 (HB 2129), proposes launching a voluntary program that uses off-duty officers as school resource officers at Tennessee public schools. Officers who join the program will be paid using a portion of civil asset forfeiture funds.

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