Dear Mr. Anderson, I would like to bring to your attention the use of general warrants in Hamilton County by members of the judiciary, by Sheriff Jim Hammond, by police chiefs such as David Roddy of Chattanooga, and by prosecutor Neal Pinkston.
[I delivered this letter today to grand jury foreman Jimmy Anderson in Chattanooga via the hand of Jerry Sloan, an assistant district attorney, who was described to me as the best way this morning to deliver a communication to Mr. Anderson. I also hand deliver a version of this letter to Hugh Moore, foreman of the county’s second grand jury.]
General warrants are forbidden in our bill of rights. But the county appears to be operating under a general arrest warrant theory. The general warrant operates daily and routinely in seeming rejection of the people’s clear protection in statute — at Tenn. Code Ann. § Title 40-7-103, the law that gives grounds for arrest by officer without a warrant. There are 11 grounds for arrest by officer without a warrant. An officer may arrest a person without a warrant for any number of felonies.
Attached is my July 10 letter of inquiry to chief magistrate Lorrie Miller, who gave me an interview on my radio station, 92.7 NoogaRadio, that touched on how the judicial branch is treating the people.
I argue to magistrate Miller that she misinterprets the phrase “public offense” to mean “any crime.” One need not resort, even, to the rules of statutory construction to see that one cannot make void an entire statute by overbroadly interpreting two of its words. A mere reading of the statute is in order, I believe, to show that the statute disallows for generalized arrest without a warrant attained BEFORE the arrest, not weeks later at “probable cause” hearings.
I would ask the grand jury to investigate this question of general warrants and invite further analysis from members of the public. I am looking further into this matter and how courts have understood “public offense.”
We are free by law from warrantless searches and seizures, and we are to be protected by the clear limits on officer arrest authority without a warrant.
I look forward to hearing back from you, sir, and am happy to offer my assistance if the people will benefit from it. Respectfully yours, etc.