Last updated March 29, 2021. The current status of each bill can be found by clicking the bill numbers below.
This week, legislative committees will take up two bills related to police power and accountability:
- Prevent invasive police drone surveillance. SB 258/HB 924 is a dangerous expansion of law enforcement’s ability to use drones. When police acquire drone technology, they acquire unprecedented power to invade our privacy. Drones can fly unnoticed — tracking us, peering into our homes, and recording our conversations. Regulation of law enforcement’s use of this technology is crucial to protecting our privacy. Yet this bill removes existing restrictions on drone usage, permitting police to use drones to “provide aerial coverage” for any event open to the public. It also extends the period law enforcement may retain data collected by drones — even if that data has no relevance to an ongoing investigation. By gutting our privacy protections, HB 924 hails a new era of invasive surveillance in Tennessee. This bill will be taken up on Tuesday, March 30 in the Senate Judiciary Committee and on Wednesday, March 31 in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee. ACLU-TN Position: Oppose
- Increase accountability around police vehicle searches. SB 1434/HB 600 would require any officer who conducts a motor vehicle search to report in person to a local judge and provide, in writing, the basis for the search and demographic information about the driver – including race, sex and age. It also ensures that the state compiles and publishes the data and makes it available to the public. Racial profiling – using race or ethnicity to determine whether someone is a suspect of a crime – has a long, ugly history in America, and research shows it is still prevalent today. A recent study from Stanford University analyzed nearly a hundred million traffic stops across the United States and found that Black drivers are 20% more likely to get pulled over than white ones. We need clearer reporting here in Tennessee to identify these disparities and hold police accountable for racial profiling. This bill will be taken up on Wednesday, March 31 in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee. The Senate Judiciary will also eventually take up this bill, but the date has not yet been determined. ACLU-TN Position: Support
TAKE ACTION: Please call members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee and ask them to hold police accountable.
Sample Phone Script
Hello, my name is ________________. I am calling about two bills related to police accountability.
I urge you to protect my privacy from invasive police drone surveillance by voting no on HB 924.
I also urge you to vote yes on HB 600 so that demographic data on police vehicle stops is collected and racial profiling is prevented.
Senate Judiciary Committee Members:
|Sen. Mike Bellfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Sen. Todd Gardenhireemail@example.com|
|Sen. Sara Kylefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Sen. Jon Lundbergemail@example.com|
|Sen. Kerry Robertsfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Sen. Katrina Robinsonemail@example.com|
|Sen. Paul Rosefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Sen. John Stevensemail@example.com|
|Sen. Dawn Whitefirstname.lastname@example.org|
House Criminal Justice Subcommittee Members:
|Rep. Bill Beckemail@example.com|
|Rep. Michael Curciofirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Rep. Clay Doggettemail@example.com|
|Rep. Andrew Farmerfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Rep. Bruce Griffeyemail@example.com|
|Rep. G.A. Hardawayfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Rep. Dan Howellemail@example.com|
|Rep. William Lamberthfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Rep. Debra Moodyemail@example.com|
|Rep. Lowell Russellfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Rep. Jerry Sextonemail@example.com|