Tenaha Police Make Practice of Illegal Searching and Seizing Property of African American Motorists
Mar 11, 2009
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.
For instance, why out of the 200 cases of "asset forfeiture" was a crime related to asset forfeiture found in only 50? Why out of the remaining 150 or so cases were all of the defendants African American? The most important question of all is- why in 2009 do certain locations and their governmental bodies feel that they can treat people in a way that is disrespectful, demeaning, and illegal? I wonder if anyone in Tenaha is going to be able to provide the court with suitable answers?
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Shannon Johnson (Bohemianliving)
A freelance writer whose favorite topics are organic foods, healthy living, and all things green. A professor of career communications, an avid yogi, a vegetarian, and a mommy.I am a beach … more
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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.