Opinion: Racist practices are costing us dearly in legal fees

Jul 02, 2020 at 11:13 am by Michelle Willard

Do you want your tax dollars to pay for lawsuits?

Seems like our local governments are going above and beyond to prove that they are, in fact, racist. And they are wasting taxpayer money to do it.

According to accidental human right reporter Scott Broden, the Candy Crush debacle has cost Rutherford County, Smyrna and state of Tennessee more than $134,000 in legal fees alone.

That doesn't include any possible settlement with 17 owners of 23 stores who have sued after they were arrested and charged with selling a legal substance.

In February 2018, DA Jennings Jones obtained indictments for 21 individuals and charged them with felonies for possessing and selling a schedule VI drug, in the form of cannabidiol, a.k.a., CBD. The charges were dropped but the ramifications continue.

In an opinion from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth District, the owners claim their Constitutional rights were violated when they were falsely arrested and unlawfully prosecuted for selling products containing CBD. They also alleged a civil conspiracy to violate those rights.

In the opinion, the appellate court found that Rutherford County attorney General Jennings Jones, ADA John Zimmerman and Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh are not entitled to quasi-judicial and qualified immunity, meaning they are legally responsible for their actions in "Operation Candy Crush."

This was because the court found evidence that the case was championed by Zimmerman despite officers and the TBI being hesitant to continue because of CBD's legal status.

"A reasonable officer would know that the mere presence of CBD in products, without any indication as to the products' origin or THC percentage, did not provide probable cause for violations of Tennessee’s controlled-substance laws. Concluding otherwise was objectively unreasonable," the opinion said.

What's more damning and what will likely cost all the law enforcement agencies in Rutherford County a pretty penny is this: "Notably, an officer informed Zimmerman that Amazon, the online retailer, was also selling similar CBD products. Zimmerman laughed in response and said, 'we aren't going aft[er] Amazon,'" the opinion said.

So why did Zimmerman choose to target these businesses?

All but two of the stores were owned by minorities. Most are of Middle Eastern descent. One is owned by a white lesbian couple.

According to the opinion, it's because Zimmerman "believed the plaintiffs would be more likely to pay baseless fines and forfeit property in order to avoid costly litigation."

Did he believe this because they were minority-owned? Only he can answer that question.

But the question hangs heavy. Especially when you add this to the host of lawsuits facing Rutherford County Mayor Bill Ketron, the Hobgood arrests, and the likely lawsuits from when the Murfreesboro Police Department used chemical weapons to disburse a crowd of protestors.

If you can't see that the systemic racism in the judicial system is costing taxpayers millions of dollars in legal fees alone, I don't know what to tell you. 

Where are all the libertarians who scream about government waste when it comes to food stamps? Shouldn't they be marching in the streets to save their dollars from being spent on lawsuits challenging racist practices?

These tactics are costing valuable taxpayer dollars.

 



Comments

1) RACISM ONLY EXISTS IN THE MIND OF THE BEHOLDER. One has to HAVE a racist thought in order to even *begin* to contemplate what it is. IN FACT, THE GREATEST RACIST IS THE ANTI-RACIST! Only by *accusing* another of being "X" does one create "duality" (being apart from Unity) which is EXACTLY what the "anti-racist" is allegedly fighting! For example: person A and person B are both members of the same group, say, citizens of the U.S.A., possibly even of the same state, county, and city. They are, in essence, "unified" under the law, that "All" are "equal." Person A now begins a tirade: "Person B, you're racist!" Person A has just created a separate distinction between equals: "racist" vs. (allegedly) "non-racist", with person A (presumably) voluntarily stepping into the classification of "non-racist". Funny, actually, that person A has just created a "racial" group, the "race of non-racists" :-) Person A is *exactly* that of which Person A has accused person B! In short, when *anyone* says "You're RACIST!" they are basically confessing their own corruption. 2. ALL ACCUSATION CREATES DUALITY: One of Satan's nicknames, incidentally, is "the accuser." People who study such things can tell you, "sin" is a condition of duality, being "apart from" the Love of God. Duality is exactly the same principle that allows a wedge to split a log apart into halves. 3. Yes, "Operation Candy Crush" was a COLOSSAL example of fascism-gone-wrong. Is it an example of "systemic racism"? No, but it is clearly an example of gross idiocracy, the kind of group-think most commonly presented by those opposed to free speech and religious and artistic expression (the 1st Amendment) and the right to bear arms (the 2nd Amendment.) Basically, the United States, its Constitution, and all its citizenry are under attack at this very moment Please study "Financial jihad" and study it well! (That's what "Google" and similar online search sites are good for!) NOTE: Islam is NOT a "race," it's an "ideology," and as such, ideologies may either be duality based "[kill enemies]" which leads to *death*, or UNITY-based (such as Christianity, "love thine enemies") which leads to Truth (Unity.) The ideology of duality specializes in jihad. Study well the verse Qur'an 9:5, which basically says: "[kill enemies.]" Duality. Now compare that to the verse of Unity, Matthew 5:44, "Love thine enemies" (starting *first* with one's *greatest* enemy: Oneself!) Meanwhile, when one is one's own worst enemy, which of these two paths works best for *you* and your future family's future?
Mr. Silk that was very informative and hopefully will cause people to check their own motives before they declare the motives of others. I don’t know you, but thank you for formulating your opinion so clearly.
I have to agree with @DickSilk. What the author is describing is not racist but the ignorance and stupidity and sheer distorted ambition of the Sheriff's department, County attorneys, and ultimately the DA's office. All of them have long histories of using their offices for political gain. The county attorneys wrote their own contract which is so obviously self-enriching to any 3rd grader, but our commissioners allow it to perpetuate. The ignorance and corruption start right there. The contract pays the county attorneys for all decisions good or bad. They then promote the idea of settling all suits for the minimum of $300K, because, in their words, "that's what it would cost to go to court". They get a piece of that $300K, so why not? The most egregious abuse of our judiciary lies with the DA, Jennings Jones and Zimmerman, who pursue the stupidity and unconstitutionality strictly because of distorted egos. They couldn't possibly have been wrong in their decision making. All the prosecutors and public defenders need to go. We need to stop electing people who's names we recognized. Their only purpose is to protect the swamp. The real crimes are happening in our own court house, starting with the county attorneys.
Tess2019, now we talking. Instead of merely declaring racism, try other timeless evils also: greed, power, nepotism, or pure corruption. The human heart is evil at birth(mine included), and only freed through Jesus Christ 👍
How about..... The police were trying protect kids from buying a product that may have contained THC, that's all that occurred in this case. As far as wasting tax money goes, the biggest waste I see is the hundreds of thousands spent on building those stupid bike lanes and now the sidewalks to nowhere on North Rutherford. I've lived here 11 years and can count on 1 hand the number of times I've seen either being used!
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