Last updated April 26, 2021. The current status of each bill can be found by clicking the bill numbers below.
This week, legislators 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 passed the Senate on April 8 and will be taken up on Tuesday, April 27 in the House Criminal Justice Committee. 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 Tuesday, April 20 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 House Criminal Justice Committee 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.
House Criminal Justice Committee Members:
|Rep. Scotty Campbellfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Rep. Michael Curcioemail@example.com|
|Rep. Vincent Dixiefirstname.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. David Hawkemail@example.com|
|Rep. Dan Howellfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Rep. Bud Hulseyemail@example.com|
|Rep. London Lamarfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Rep. William Lamberthemail@example.com|
|Rep. Debra Moodyfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Rep. Lowell Russellemail@example.com|
|Rep. Jerry Sextonfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Rep. Paul Sherrellemail@example.com|