Monty Bruell, a candidate for mayor, and Raquetta Dotley and Jazmine King Leblanc visit at Southside Community Park in Chattanooga. (Photo Monty Bruell on FB)

David Tulis As candidate for mayor, what do you make of transportation administrative notice? The city has been under notice two years.

Monty Bruell What I know about this issue, I largely know from listening to your radio show.  Currently, almost half of the budget for the City of Chattanooga is devoted to public safety. There are a number of opportunities to change the way that we police our community to make law enforcement the best that it can be.  So, my commitment as Mayor will be to initiate a series of reforms including asking the city attorney to explore how we might change the city’s traffic stop policy.

Tulis Monty, the program of police reform is further along than you realize. That is because the city is under transportation administrative notice — two years, now. It violates Title 55 and 65 and US Code Title 49 in its use of these revenue and privilege laws outside its authority.

The city has not rebutted the notice, which implies a proper agenda for use of police. Police do not have authority to regulate transportation. Period. That is the law. The courts uphold this practice, however, under a legal fiction and refusal to hear proper appeal on this issue.

The issue is the right of communication vs. the power of the state to regulate privileges.

Asking city attorney Phil Noblett how we might reform traffic stop policy implies someone needs to study what’s happening streetside. We already know what is happening. Jim Crow against blacks, the poor, the orphan and widow, the alien and stranger, and everybody else.

We already know what happens when cops serving the corporation enforce state revenue and privilege laws that are enforceable ONLY by the highway patrol. We have the weak and poor dragged into the jail and into the court system.  No study is needed, Monty. Rather, obedience and an end of this longstanding oppression. Have you read the notice?

The notice estops the city from claiming it is enforcing this law unwittingly, unknowingly and by accident and unintentionally. It is using Title 55 for its own purposes, and injuring the people and their rights. It is enforcing the state transportation, freight, shipping, hauling and trucking law against people who are not involved in transportation, freight, shipping, hauling and trucking. Monty, that is the short of it, plain and simple.  

Bruell Have the courts weighed in on this issue?

Tulis  Yes, they have. There is conflict in court rulings. Notice makes clear the origins of regulation of commercial travel. Notice makes clear that municipalities and the state regulate commercial use of the roads only. The early rulings on privilege make clear that privilege is always a calling, occupation or trade. The state can regulate use of the road insofar as the user, in a particular act, uses the road for private profit and gain. That is subject to the privilege requirement in law and in court rulings. 

But later rulings have created an operative legal fiction, Monty. And that is this: There is no right of travel except for change of domicile from one state to another. That fiction upholds the commercialization of noncommercial private and pleasure use of the road in the people’s exercise of their rights and immunities. That fiction allows the court to turn a blind eye to all the abuses people face from cops and deputies on the side of the road. Few defendants know how to properly defend against ultra vires (outside the scope, outside the view) enforcement.

The fiction is that there is no right to travel on the people’s roads, the people’s infrastructure, for private purpose and the exercise of rights, apart from state permission via the privilege relationship (in equity, under contract, effectively).

Given that the court allows this legal fiction, and understanding that reform is impossible in the courts through traditional means of appeal, I have put forth my notice project. It creates personal liability for every cop under notice, and liability every corporation that misuses the law, as Chattanooga is doing today. I am just awaiting the first lawsuit, either civil or criminal, to establish the claims I make based on my investigative reporting and long research into this matter. 

Please read the notice — a real eye opener as to the legal structure of TN government operations and the power of police. And also read the post I sent you regarding the politics of declaring an open city, a sanctuary city, regarding misuse and violation of these state and federal laws.

If you are running for mayor, you are going to have to account for accepting this analysis or rejecting it. I am on the side of the African-American in this matter — this is a racial reconciliation and racial reparations project from my race to the black race, and your task is to either accept this project or reject it. 

It has been discussed in the press in Chattanooga for more than two years, and there’s no way a minority candidate can avoid taking a position on it. Other candidates such as Ken Smith will pretend it is a non-issue and a non-entity as a legal and political matter. But such people are simply out of touch.

The people who understand the issue best are African-Americans who have heard me out. Anthony Byrd has been stopped “twenty, thirty, forty times — too many to count,” he told me.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.