‘The Watch’ Describes Tennessee Attempt to Undermine Police Reform in Nashville and Memphis 

Jewel Samad/Getty Images

By Cheyenne Galloway 

NASHVILLE, TN – In April, the Tennessee House of Representatives voted for a bill allowing Nashville and Memphis to eliminate community-led police oversight boards, according to a comment piece in The Watch by Radley Balko.

The legislation passed by a 26-5 vote, the same day that the GOP voted to expel Memphis State Rep. Justin Pearson and Nashville State Rep. Justin Jones, both since reinstated by their districts.

Introduced a couple of weeks after Tennessee police murdered Tyre Nichols and only a few days after the release of the body camera footage showing Nichols’ death, the timing of the bill’s introduction to the Senate by Sen. Mark Pody was calculated, suggests Balko.

“The vote, which was largely overshadowed by the expulsions, was merely the latest effort by the far-right, rurally dominated Tennessee legislature to impose its will on the cities that drive the state’s economy. It’s also an especially vindictive one,” Balko notes.

According to Balko, Sen. Mark Pody and Elaine Davis, another core sponsor of the bill, introduced this legislation to make police departments in Memphis and Nashville less transparent, less accountable, and evidently more corrupt.

“So as the country recoiled from the gut-churning footage of police officers ruthlessly beating an innocent man to death as he pleaded for his mother, Pody and State Rep. Elaine Davis, the chief sponsors of the bill, went to work to make the Nashville and Memphis police departments less accountable and less transparent,” writes Balco.

The Watch’s Balko notes: “First and foremost, the bill calls for dismantling the current civilian boards responsible for monitoring the actions of local police departments in Memphis and Nashville.”

Second, “the bill would entrust investigations of police abuse and misconduct in any Tennessee city to the police departments themselves,” and lastly, Balko argues the proposed legislation dictates who will comprise the board members if the city decides to create a new civilian board responsible for overseeing and investigating the city police departments.

Balko reports the proposed bill has yet to be fully approved, for the Tennessee House has not yet voted, although “85 percent” of Sen. Pody’s colleagues are on board, and the legislation has already passed two committees through voice vote.

Moreover, it’s expected that the Republican supermajority in the House will pass the bill by an adequate margin, Balko insists.

For more: https://radleybalko.substack.com/p/meet-the-nutty-tennessee-republicans 

About The Author

Cheyenne Galloway recently graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a double major in Political Science and Italian Studies. Graduating at the top of her class and achieving the distinction Laurea cum laude in her Italian Studies major, she showcases her enthusiasm for knowledge, finding ways to think critically and creatively. She is particularly interested in writing and reporting on social justice and human rights, but as a writing/reporting generalist, she enjoys researching and communicating various topics through written expression.

Related posts

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
Sign up for