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Killer test in your warrantless arrest — law that TN cops violate

This chart reverse-engineers police and deputy violations of two main Tennessee criminal procedure laws. One is your arrest without a warrant. The other is your arrest for “driving” or “operating.” (Graphic David Tulis)

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn., Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023 — Police and deputies in Tennessee universally ignore the ban on general warrants. That is to say, the requirement in the constitution that all arrests are unreasonable if without a warrant. The constitutional protection exists even in the law that pares back the constitution and provides exceptions.

By David Tulis / NoogaRadio Network

That law is T.C.A. 40-7-103, warrantless by officer, that I am suing city of Franklin for ignoring in my unreasonable and warrantless arrest covering the Tennessee judicial conference Nov. 6, 2021, at Embassy Suites Cool Springs hotel in this ritzy neighbor of Nashville.

The town has effectively abrogated the law by revising it in its ordinances dealing with police operations. The ordinance says there is one test an officer must make for a warrantless misdemeanor arrest. That is: Is it in his presence? If the answer is yes, the cop makes an arrest without a warrant.

That means he makes the arrest without judicial supervision and approval, and is doing it on his own authority. Pretty risky, if you are a cop and are violating state law under longtime practice and custom in your police or sheriff’s department.

The warrant requirement prevents general warrants from operating. A general warrant is that allowing a cop to arrest anyone for cause at any time. Cops don’t even pretended to have a blank piece of paper styled a warrant, and arrest whom they want. They don’t bother with even the appearance of having a judicial piece of paper. Cops just arrest you apart from the “breach of the peace” standard that is in the law.

The chart explains the CONTENT of the phrase “public offense.” In sum, a public offense is an actual “breach of the peace.”

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