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Deputies personally on hook in false arrests; I ask county to care

Deputies like these who deal with the public and make arrests without a warrant when a warrant is required by law put their personal estates in peril. The Hamilton County sheriff’s office regularly violates T.C.A. 40-7-103, requiring a warrant for misdemeanors if they are not public offenses or threatened breaches of the peace.  (Photo David Tulis)

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024 – Careless for deputies’ welfare. Heartlessly exposing men, women to personal liability and harm. Indifferent to the personal estates of county employees.

By David Tulis / NoogaRadio Network

The Hamilton County commission is disregarding the Tennessee constitution and black-letter law ban on general warrants, wherein deputies make misdemeanor arrests without a warrant.

This scheme is called general warrants, and is outlaw from the beginning of the republic and the state of Tennessee, founded in 1796, in the passage of the constitution. That is because the Christian elements in the constitution require respect of the presumed innocent person, the citizen or the member of the public who has absolute right not to be held to account by court, sheriff or jailer without a warrant.

The warrant requirement is intended to protect the citizen as much as the officer.

According to the Hamilton County sheriff’s department website, 2,260 misdemeanor arrest were made by deputies, probably many of them requiring a warrant. 

The department, according to recent report, is 60 deputies short. How can the county gain employees when the policy of the county commission and sheriff’s department is illegal, and the onus for false imprisonment and false arrest is on the deputy?

That means that a false imprisonment or false arrest harm redounds to the deputy. That is to say, his estate, his family, his property, his assets are all put at risk by county policy. 

I put the county on administrative notice April 15, 2020, about the requirements of the constitution and T.C.A. § 40-7-103, grounds for arrest by officer without warrant. I put magistrate Lorrie Miller on the same notice. I put Coty Wamp on administrative notice about this breach, and she retorted with a question: Do I really expect the deputy or officer to let the person go, run to the magistrate, get a warrant and then have to find the person? She was HCSO counsel at the time I addressed her; since she gained ascendancy after an election as district attorney.

Yes, arrest is a complicated and time-consuming process. The multiple steps are required in view of what the constitution considers the sanctity of the right to be left alone. As Americans, we have the right to be left alone. The constitution makes a big deal of being arrested. Arrest, seizure, caging, chaining or cuffing, imprisonment, stripping of one’s clothes or even containment in a holding area for 72 hours prior to meeting a magistrate is a terrible and terrifying thing, An arrest might take all day. An arrest might consume a cop or deputy’s Thursday and Friday if he cannot find his mark or is troubled by the magistrate’s questions at the required examination of the accuser’s claims.

The case Tulis v. Orange demands of federal court an injunction against the city of Franklin for my causeless and warantless arrest Nov. 6, 2021. I am suing its cop, William Orange, and others. The court is fully brief on the “public offense” standard for warrantless arrest.

In short, if a person is not involved in a public offense, the officer or complainant must obtain a warrant before a magistrate. A public offense is one in the nature of a riot, affray, disturbance, breach of the peace, a disorder that has a public face and causes people in the context to feel uneasy or threatened. 

My arrest traveling with a damaged taillight in no way is a public offense. It may be a breach of an agreement I have with the department of safety to be a licensee and user of a motor vehicle under the rules of the road. But it is nowhere near a public offense meeting the test under 40-7-103.

Neither is the arrest of Ricky Coonrod a public offense. He is seized in a viral Facebook view Jan. 22 and charged with three counts, including resisting arrest, bad tag light and marijuana.


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