Tenaha, Texas is located on the Texas-Louisiana border, that has a total population of $1,046. They are being sued in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas for violating African-American motorists constitutional rights via illegal searches and seizures. The over 140 Plaintiffs in the case allege that from June 2006 to June 2008, as part of routine traffic stops, they were given the option to voluntarily sign over their belongings to the town or be charged with felonies like money laundering. One of the attorney's for the Plaintiffs discovered pre-signed and pre-notarized police affidavits with blank spaces left for an officer to describe the property being seized.
Crime doesn't pay and if you commit certain crimes, the law says that anything you bought from the money you earned illegally is subject to be forfeieted over to the state. But what if you haven't committed a crime- when the state takes your money, possessions, or car - is it just robbery? The U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas is going to have to answer that question and the city of Tenaha is going to have to answer to a number of questions itself. … more