law enforcement

Appeals court finds $250 DUI fine — used in financing TBI — unconstitutional

An appeals court has ruled unconstitutional a state law that requires every person convicted of DUI through a blood or breath test pay a fee that that helps fund the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, reports the Associated Press.

Tuesday’s ruling by the Court of Criminal Appeals in Knoxville says the $250 fee violates due process and calls into question the trustworthiness of test results obtained by the bureau’s forensic scientists. State law requires the money to go to the bureau’s intoxicant testing fund.

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Sen. Lundberg tangled in flap over firing of policeman who ticketed his daughter

Bristol city officials were concerned about “political interference and retaliation” by state Sen. Jon Lundberg after his daughter was ticketed by a police officer who was subsequently fired, reports the Bristol Herald Courier.

The Bristol Republican says he did not try to get his daughter out of the ticket and has actively opposed dismissal of officer Phil Kiersnowski – though he contacted the city police chief at the time to jokingly remark on his wife and daughter both being ticketed  by Bristol police on the same day.

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Legislative candidate contends TBI raid on residence was politically motivated

Jeremy Hayes, a candidate for the Republican nomination in House District 57, says a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation raid on a residence where he is selling was aimed at sabotaging his race against incumbent Republican Rep. Susan Lynn (R-Mount Juliet). The TBI says it was investigating allegations that Hayes lives in Davidson County but has voted in Wilson County, which is also home to House District 57.

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TN Supremes look to legislators’ intent in backing multiple gun crime convictions

Reversing the an appellate court decision after reviewing state legislators’ intent in enactment of a state law, the Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled that defendants can be convicted on multiple counts of using a gun in the commission of a crime – not just one.

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Charges against Bradley County sheriff dropped

A special prosecutor has dismissed all 12 felony counts against Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson, who was facing trial Jan. 22 on charges of forging automobile titles, reports the Times Free Press.

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TBI director ‘deeply concerned’ with surge in TN gun-related crime (up 25 percent, 2013 through 2016)

Press release from Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released a report today (Thursday) detailing the nature and volume of reported firearms-related crime across the state over a four-year period.

The report, “Firearm Violence in Tennessee: 2013-2016,” utilizes data submitted by the state’s law enforcement agencies through the Tennessee Incident Based Reporting System (TIBRS). Among the report’s findings:

  • From 2013 to 2016, firearm-related criminal offenses increased by 24.8%.
  • The number of reported Murders involving a firearm increased by 54.7% in the four-year study period.
  • Aggravated Assaults accounted for the largest portion of reported firearms-related crime, and increased by 30.5% from 2013 to 2016.
  • Males (85.8%) were nine times more likely to engage in firearm-related criminal offenses than Females (8.8%).

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20 illegal aliens arrested in Memphis

Press release from U.S. Department of Justice

Memphis, TN – D. Michael Dunavant, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced today that 20 individuals have been indicted for working under false identities.

On November 28, 2017, law enforcement arrested 20 illegal aliens working under false identities. A Memphis employment agency, Provide Staffing, assigned multiple employees to Expeditors International, a freight forwarder based in Memphis.

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State Sen. Overbey confirmed as U.S. attorney for East Tennessee

The full U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination of state Sen. Doug Overbey, R-Maryville, as U.S. Attorney for East Tennessee late Thursday.

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One arrest, but otherwise things were fairly peaceful at TN ‘White Lives Matter’ rallies

A pair of white nationalist rallies in two Tennessee towns went off relatively peacefully Saturday with only one arrest, after police prepared carefully to keep demonstrators and counter demonstrators under control, reports ABC News.

One “White Lives Matter” attendee who was standing with the white nationalists was arrested during the first rally, in Shelbyville. The white male, wearing a green fleece jacket, was approached by a flurry of cops who quickly pulled him through a temporarily detached metal barricade, pinning protesters on two sides of a street. Police took the unidentified man away in a golf cart.

At the second rally, in Murfreesboro, there were no reported injuries, damage or arrests, city officials said.

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Black’s gubernatorial campaign backed by 11 DAs, 23 sheriffs

News release from Diane Black campaign

Gallatin, TN – Today, Diane Black for Governor announced its statewide Law and Order Coalition. 23 Sheriffs and 11 District Attorneys have endorsed Diane’s campaign for governor and signed on to provide guidance on law enforcement issues.

District Attorney Ray Whitley, District Attorney Amy Weirich, District Attorney Russell Johnson, Sheriff Bill Holt, Sheriff Sonny Weatherford, and Former Sheriff Terry Ashe have agreed to co-chair the coalition.

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