City urged restrain cops, obey TN traffic law, avoid abusing minorities

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The Chattanooga News Chronicle, a progressive voice for African-Americans, is open to hearing more about my efforts to give notice to officials about limits on the Tennessee traffic law. (Photo David Tulis)

A chronic abuse by Tennessee’s white establishment against minorities is the enforcement of traffic laws against people who are not subject to those statutes.

A disproportionately large body of victims of state action are African-Americans, the poor and aliens who are swept into Hamilton County’s jails and courts.

By David Tulis / Chattanooga News-Chronicle

I have undertaken a ground-floor legal reform project to end an oppression under the driver license statute. It involves making report to Chattanooga and the county of the limits of traffic law enforcement against private users of the road.

Key in my notice to Hamilton County on March 1 and city council Feb. 20 is the distinction between travel and transportation. Travel is by individual men and women for pleasure or private business. Transportation is the use of the people’s road for profit in carrying goods or people for hire — cabbies, haulers, courier services, truck, wrecker services and the like.

The high court in Tennessee denies any God-given constitutionally guaranteed inherent and unalienable right to free movement on the public right of way. There is no right to travel, only the privilege of driving, the judges opine.

On March 19, I offered city council a path to reform defiant of Nashville custom. Order the cop at a traffic stop to ask a new question: “Ma’am [or, sir], are you using this car as a motor vehicle for hire or for commercial purposes?”

If she says, “What’re you talking about? Just taking the kids to the prayer meeting,” she’s a private user, not involved in commerce. The officer has no authority to ask any more questions. If the person behind the wheel says she’s hurrying a frozen heart from Memorial Hospital to Vanderbilt, the officer has authority to ask more.

“Ma’am, do you have a valid driver license, proof of insurance and vehicle registration?” He has authority to ask because this person is in commerce, a regulable activity.

Let’s see if city and county will inform officers of the people’s rights. It’s cops’ personal necks that are on the line. Click to download my administrative notice.

David Tulis hosts a show 9-11 weekday mornings at 92.7 FM NoogaRadio covering local economy and free markets in Chattanooga and beyond. Here’s the current edition of the News Chronicle.

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