Tennessee Civil Asset Forfeiture Brought in $16M in Funds in 2021, But Transparency Lacking

Police traffic stop

In 2021, law enforcement in Tennessee seized $16 million worth of cash and $15.8 million was forfeited in court. But according to annual reports from Tennessee’s Department of Safety and Homeland Security, departments used just $195,000 of those funds.

Each year since Tennessee law began requiring those disclosures in 2018, similar numbers have appeared.

In 2020, $15 million was seized, $8.4 million was forfeited in the courts but just $1,980 was recorded as being used. In 2019, $12 million was seized, $12 million was forfeited and just more than $300,000 of the proceeds were used.

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Grant’s Rants: ‘Tennessee Law Enforcement Should Be Fully Funded Through a Transparent Budget Process That Is Backed by the Voice and the Will of the People’

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed official guest host Grant Henry in studio for another edition of Grant’s Rants.

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Tennessee Group Wants Property Seizure Reform After Indictment of Knox County Sheriff’s Supervisor

The Tennessee chapter of Americans for Prosperity is pushing to reform the state’s forfeiture law after a former Knox County Sheriff’s Office supervisor was accused in a federal indictment of taking seized drug assets and using them for personal use.

Former Assistant Chief David Henderson, head of Knox County’s Narcotics Unit, entered a not guilty plea Friday in court, according to WBIR-TV.

Henderson is accused of using cash and narcotics unit credit cards for the purchase of personal items, including $138,000 worth of Apple products between 2011-2018, $13,000 in Yeti coolers, $2,200 for a Google Nest indoor security system and more, according to the report.

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State Representative Justin Lafferty on Women’s Sports Bill Opposing Biological Male Participation and Civil Asset Forfeiture

man playing basketball, dunking the ball

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed (R-TN-89) State Representative Justin Lafferty to the newsmakers line to weigh in on the bill banning biological male athletes from women’s sports and his top legislative priorities for 2022.

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Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde, a Victim of Civil Asset Forfeiture, Calls for New Reforms

Representative Andrew Clyde (R-GA-09) this month shared how Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents violated him and his rights several years ago and listed new ways for the agency to reform itself. Clyde made his remarks at a House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties hearing.

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Grant’s Rants: ‘Changing Civil Asset Forfeiture Laws Must Be Done Now Because It Will Reinforce Tennessee’s Confidence and Trust in Law Enforcement Institutions’

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed official guest host, Grant Henry in studio for another addition of Grant’s Rants where he addresses civil asset forfeiture laws.

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Judge Stops Feds from Seizing Safe Deposit Boxes in $85M Raid, Citing Due Process Rights

A federal judge scolded the feds for their “woefully” vague seizure notices to customers of U.S. Private Vaults (USPV), saying the planned forfeitures of safe deposit boxes likely violate customers’ constitutional due process rights.

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Tennessee State Rep. Rusty Grills Talks Legislating from His Counties in the ‘Front Porch of Heaven’ and Maintaining Freedom

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Tennessee State Rep. Rusty Grills of District 77 to the newsmakers line to discuss his background and legislating from the farm.

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Georgia General Assembly Will Soon Examine Civil Asset Forfeiture Laws

Members of the Georgia General Assembly will soon consider two separate bills that pertain to civil asset forfeiture, one which would make it harder for government officials to seize private property. This bill, the Due Process in Civil Forfeiture Act, would increase the burden of proof for the government in civil forfeiture proceedings. The bill would alsoprovide people with public defenders during civil forfeiture proceedings in certain criminal cases.

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Commentary: Seven Specific Policy Ideas for Republican Congressional Candidates

Washington DC

This year, hundreds of Republican candidates for federal office will be on the ballot this fall, and many of them lack the resources to put together a strong policy team. While taxes, abortion, guns, school choice immigration, and defense are all very important issues, they have limited reach beyond the usual Republican voters. Here are seven policy ideas for House and Senate candidates who would like to expand their platform to try to appeal to more voters – without alienating key elements of the Republican base.

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State House Subcommittee Studies Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Widely Supported But Not Adopted During the 2019 Legislative Session

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – The House Civil Justice Subcommittee held a summer study of two bills related to civil asset forfeiture reform and reporting, the former having widespread and bi-partisan support although the legislation didn’t make it past its first stop in the Subcommittee.

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State Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform, Sent For Summer Study, Now Dead For This Year

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – The civil asset forfeiture reform bill was sent for summer study, thereby ending any further discussion or action this year by the Tennessee General Assembly. The bill’s sponsor, Representative Martin Daniel (R-Knoxville) had been working the bill for weeks, which was set to culminate on Tuesday at…

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Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Continues to Receive Resistance in Tennessee

Despite actions at the federal level and dozens of states, legislation to reform civil asset forfeiture in Tennessee is continually received with resistance. Civil asset forfeiture is a tool whereby law enforcement seizes assets such as money and property that was obtained illegally by criminals. The goal of law enforcement…

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Nashville Metro Council Opposes Civil Asset Forfeiture Without Criminal Conviction As State House Prepares for Hearing on Reform Bill

The Nashville Metropolitan Council approved a resolution opposing civil asset forfeiture without a criminal conviction on Tuesday, just as a bill aimed at reforming state civil asset forfeiture laws is scheduled to be heard in a House committee meeting this coming week. Nashville Metropolitan Council Resolution RS2019-1628 directs that the Metropolitan…

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Proposed Reforms of Civil Asset Forfeiture in Tennessee to Be Heard This Week in House Subcommittee

A bill that will make several changes to Tennessee’s civil asset forfeiture procedures will be heard in the Civil Justice Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. House Bill HB 0340, sponsored by Representative Martin Daniel (R-Knoxville), is yet another attempt by the legislator to make the State’s laws…

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Due Process Rights Could Make a Comeback in Tennessee Thanks to Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill

Americans pride themselves on a commitment to due process rights. We hold criminal defendants “innocent until proven guilty,” and believe that everyone should have his day in court. Yet, thanks to civil forfeiture laws, many innocent people have had their cash and property seized without ever being charged with a…

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Even After Case Dismissed by Judge, Police Refuse to Release Alabama Business’ Merchandise to Owner

Frank Ranelli owns a small computer repair shop in Ensley, Ala., a suburb of Birmingham. In addition to repairing customers’ laptops on site, he also offers a few computers and other electronics for sale. Ranelli was working at his store one morning in 2010 when nearly two dozen police officers…

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