Tennessee State Representative Celebrates New Law Enhancing Penalties for Assaulting Police Officers

Kip Capley

A Tennessee State Representative is celebrating this week as a bill that he sponsored enacting harsher penalties for violence against police officers took effect Monday. 

The law, called The Back the Blue Act, which was sponsored by State Representative Kip Capley (R-Summertown) makes assault on a police officer a Class E felony. Previously, it was a Class A misdemeanor.

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Tennessee State Rep. Jason Zachary Details Importance of Bill that Tightened Duty to Report Law

Jason Zachary

Tennessee State Representative Jason Zachary (R-Knoxville) suggested his bill that strengthened the state’s duty to report law may have prevented the Covenant School shooting on March 27, 2023 in Nashville if implemented before the shooting took place.

Over the weekend, The Tennessee Star reported it was provided the name of the psychologist who was reportedly part of the care team for Covenant School killer Audrey Elizabeth Hale.

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U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn Leads Tennessee Colleagues in Demanding Answers from DHS After Illegal Alien Assaults Woman at the Nashville Sundae Club

DHS Sec Alejandro Mayorkas, Senator Marsha Blackburn

Tennessee U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) led a letter signed by eight other members of the Tennessee Congressional delegation to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas demanding answers regarding the immigration status of a 23-year old illegal alien who allegedly followed a woman into a bathroom at the Nashville Sundae Club and groped her

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Tennessee National Guard, State and Local Agencies Undergo Disaster Response Exercises in Severe Flooding Simulation

TN National Guard

Tennessee National Guard troops, local first responders, and personnel of other state entities participated in the Tennessee Maneuvers 2024 training exercises last week in 15 counties across the Volunteer State.

Tennessee Maneuvers is a series of disaster simulation training exercises that test the joint response capabilities of participating personnel. The exercises occurred in Bradley, Coffee, Davidson, Gibson, Hamilton, Hawkins, Knox, Loudon, Madison, Maury, McMinn, Rhea, Rutherford, Sullivan, and Wilson counties.

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FBI Report Finds Fewer Officers Killed in Line of Duty, but More Attacked

There were 60 officers killed in the line of duty in 2023, the report said, one less than in 2022. But the total officers killed in the line of duty in the past three years were higher than any other three year period in the past two decades.

An FBI report released Tuesday revealed that fewer law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty last year, but the number of attacks on officers has risen.

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State Senator Brent Taylor Says Memphis Will Be ‘Hollowed Out’ If Crime is Not Addressed

Brent Taylor

State Senator Brent Taylor (R-Memphis) warned that Memphis will be ‘hollowed out’ if its crime problem is not addressed.

Taylor, who sponsored several crime-related bills in the recently-adjourned legislative session of the General Assembly, said the response he has received from the community in Memphis for his work to crackdown on crime has been positive.

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Knoxville Police Department Releases Body Cam Footage of Officer Shooting Suspect Armed with Two Knives

Police Knife Video

The Knoxville Police Department (KPD) released the body cam footage of an officer who shot a man armed with two knives outside the Exxon gas station at 5306 N. Broadway last month.

On April 17, just before 5:30 p.m., Officer Seth Beeler arrived at the Exxon on a report that a man, who has since been identified as William Charles McBride Jr., was “acting erratically and potentially violently inside of the store,” according to KPD.

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One Memphis Police Officer Killed, Two Others Shot While Responding to Suspicious Vehicle Occupied by Known Criminal

Memphis Police Department

Reactions have poured in after Memphis police officer Joseph McKinney was shot and killed early Friday morning while he and other officers were responding to a suspicious vehicle call.

On Friday approximately 2:00 a.m., officers responded to a suspicious vehicle call at Horn Lake Road and Charter Avenue, according to the Memphis Police Department (MPD).

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New Ohio Law Enforcement Certifications Established

Mike DeWine

Law enforcement agencies in Ohio can now be certified in the state’s new standards for professional excellence by meeting nearly three dozen standards established to entrust public confidence, accountability and integrity.

Gov. Mike DeWine recently signed an executive order for the new Law Enforcement Accreditation Program established by the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board.

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Nashville Metro Councilman Jeff Eslick Says There’s ‘Room for Improvement’ for Keeping Nashville ‘Safe’ and ‘Clean’ amid Missing College Student Case

Jeff Eslick Nashville

Metro Nashville Council Member Jeff Eslick said the Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) has “room for improvement” in regards to keeping the streets of Music City “safe” and “clean.”

Eslick made the comments during a recent episode of The Michael Patrick Leahy Show as he and host Michael Patrick Leahy were discussing the disappearance of college student Riley Strain, who has been missing since March 8 after being asked to leave Luke Bryan’s bar in downtown Nashville.

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Memphis Police Officer in Stable Condition After Being Shot in Line of Duty

A Memphis Police officer is in stable condition after he was shot in the line of duty early Friday morning, according to the Memphis Police Department (MPD).

“At 4:19 am, officers conducted a traffic stop at 240 southbound near South Parkway. During the stop, an officer notified dispatch he had been shot,” said MPD on X. “The unknown motorist fled the scene. The officer was transported to Regional One critical. This is an ongoing investigation.”

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Federal Judge Blocks Texas Law That Would Allow Law Enforcement to Arrest Illegal Migrants

Illegal Immigrants

A federal judge blocked a Texas law Thursday that allows local police to arrest migrants who cross into the state illegally.

U.S. District Court Judge David Alan Ezra, a Reagan appointee, said in a 114-page ruling that the law, SB 4, “threatens the fundamental notion that the United States must regulate immigration with one voice.” He issued a preliminary injunction preventing the law from taking effect while the case proceeds, finding Texas was “unlikely to succeed on the merits” and noting the government would “suffer grave irreparable harm” if the law took effect.

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Williamson County Interim Sheriff Mark Elrod Says Narcotics, Fentanyl ‘Biggest Issue’ in County

Mark Elrod, who is currently serving as interim sheriff of Williamson County amid former Sheriff Dusty Rhoades’ retirement, said the biggest issues affecting the county in regards to crime are drugs and fentanyl.

“I would say that probably one of our biggest issues is drugs, narcotics, fentanyl. We’ve had an uptick in that as well as heroin over the last several years. With Williamson County, we’re a transient community where a lot of the drugs and other crimes come in from other areas into Williamson County. It’s not so much your next door neighbor or the people down the street, although there is some of that, but most of it is coming from other places…Davidson County, out of Nashville, out of the city of Columbia. We have four interstates that come through the county, so it could be, you know, really coming from anywhere, everywhere,” Elrod said on Tuesday’s edition of The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy.

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Lawmakers Consider Bill to Prevent Arizona Cities from Defunding Local Police Departments

Police Officer

The Arizona House Rules Committee is scheduled to discuss legislation on Monday that would prevent cities from decreasing funding to their local police departments.

Rep. David Marshall, R-Snowflake, is the sponsor of House Bill 2120, and it has already passed the House Military Affairs & Public Safety committee in an 8-7 party-line vote this past Monday.

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Tennessee State Senator Brent Taylor Sponsors Several Crime-Related Bills in Effort to ‘Make Memphis Matter’

State Senator Brent Taylor

Tennessee State Senator Brent Taylor (R-Memphis) announced he is sponsoring several crime-related bills this legislative session in an effort to fight crime and “Make Memphis Matter.”

In a letter to his colleagues in the Tennessee State Senate, Taylor detailed 13 pieces of legislation he is sponsoring and asked his colleagues to consider sponsoring the bills as well.

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State Senator Brent Taylor: ‘If We Don’t Get It Turned Around,’ Memphis will Become the ‘Example of a Failed City’

Brent Taylor

Tennessee State Senator Brent Taylor (R-Memphis) said Memphis will become the “butt of every joke” and the “example of a failed city” if its bail system and crime crisis are not addressed.

Noting how Detroit was once an example of a “failed city” and a “shell of its former self,” Taylor explained what steps the city has taken to reduce crime and how Memphis should follow its lead.

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Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost Spearheading Effort Urging Congress to Stabilize Funding for the Federal Crime Victims Fund

Dave Yost Congress

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost led a bipartisan coalition of 41 other state attorneys general in sending a letter to congressional leaders urging the authorization of bridge funding for the federal Crime Victims Fund, also known as the VOCA Fund.

Created by Congress in 1984, the VOCA Fund provides federal support to state and local programs that assist victims of crime.

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Tennessee State Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Make Blocking a Highway a Class D Felony Offense

Tennessee State Senator Brent Taylor (R-Memphis) and State Representative Jody Barrett (R-Dickson) recently filed legislation to make blocking a highway a Class D felony.

Under current law, it is classified as a Class A misdemeanor when a defendant “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly” obstructs a public highway, street, sidewalk, railway, waterway, elevator, aisle, or hallway.

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Virginia Legislation to Limit the Use of License Plate Readers Advances

License Plate Reader

A bill to limit and expand law enforcement’s use of license plate readers passed out of a Virginia House subcommittee, sparking questions during a debate about the age-old dance between government overreach and public safety.

House Bill 775 from Del. Charniele Herring, D-Alexandria, would institute statewide regulations governing the use of the technology and enable law enforcement to use them on highways managed by the Virginia Department of Transportation.

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Nation’s Capital Devastated by Crime Spike in 2023

DC Skyline

The District of Columbia experienced a 39% increase in violent crime in 2023, according to data published by its Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

The District has long experienced issues with crime and property theft, despite having the most police officers per capitaof any jurisdiction in the country, due to the significant presence of federal law enforcement to protect the seat of the government of the United States. In 2023, overall crime increased by 26% over 2022, with 34,414 instances of violent and property crime reported to police, with property crime alone rising by 24%.

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Family of Tyre Nichols to Hold Candlelight Vigils to Commemorate First Anniversary of His Death

Candle Light Vigil

The family of Tyre Nichols, who five black Memphis police officers beat following a traffic stop and foot chase last year, will hold two candlelight vigils on Sunday to mark the first anniversary of his death.

Nichols’ family, who is being represented by civil rights attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci, will hold a vigil in Memphis at the intersection of Castlegate Lane and Ross Road at 7 p.m. CT and in Nichols’ hometown of Sacramento, California, at the Tyre Nichols Skate Park at 5 p.m. PST.

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Gallatin Man Convicted on Charges Stemming from Three-Week Crime Spree in 2019

Lazavion Kern

A Gallatin man has been convicted of multiple armed robbery and firearms offenses stemming from a three-week crime spree in 2019, according to the Middle District of Tennessee U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In December 2019, Lazavion Kern, 22, robbed four convenience stores in Gallatin and Portland, where he took thousands of dollars from the clerks, according to information cited by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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Murfreesboro Police Releases Body Cam Footage of Officer Shooting Armed Suspect Charging at Him with Two Knives

The Murfreesboro Police Department (MPD) has released the body cam footage of an officer who shot a man armed with two knives charging at him inside Jason’s Deli at The Oaks Shopping Center on N. Thompson Lane.

On Wednesday, Officer Adam Claiborne, a 5-year veteran of MPD, responded to Jason’s Deli regarding an individual who had just attempted to rob the driver of an armored van at an ATM in the same shopping plaza.

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