Considering your intelligence I would have to guess you are often unwilling to assume anything not happening within your presence and your personal experience is at least of late, may have been quite sheltered. So I respect your opinions with that caveat.
I have personally experienced racial inequality in the use of police discretion more than once or twice and that personal experience may color my opinions as well. I am also willing to believe what my black friends tell me.
I am quite capable of expressing my own beliefs without your help, thanks.
But since you chose to comment, it should have been clear to you that my issue with the Council passing any ordnance on marijuana possession is not strict enforcement against one portion of the population or the other, nor whether the new ordinance would promote more racial justice.
I have no idea whether the police choose to use their powers of discretion toward any race more than another. My guess is that if the possession laws are more often enforced against young black men, it is probably a function of those young black men coming into contact with law enforcement more often than another group. As opposed to the laws being more strictly enforced against them. But that is merely my guess, based on an assumption that police officers do not like having to appear in court any more than the rest of us.
The only problem I have with the Councils action is that they do not have the authority to change state law, and if they persist, there will be blowback with consequences.
I love it how Apop is constantly pointing out how corrupt police help keep crime rates low by looking the other way when minor crimes are committed by good ol' boys that don't mean no harm.
Now of course he believes in strict enforcement for them "types" he don't cotton to, yessir.
Don't stand up for the song, get vilified, stand up with your hands in the air, get shot to death.
Now really, why would TN legislators want to keep what could be a free pain medication illegal.
castra in hysteria, et nutritur per hyperbolen,
I think Tennessee has a new state motto.
Of course the police have discretion. Ever gotten a warning for a traffic violation instead of a fine?
So does every other law enforcement agency.
Every prosecutor, too. (See the DOJ regarding Hillary Clinton)
Shocked that there are no complaints down here. Have we all finally come together to agree to a solution? Or is it simply no one saw this article? :-)
Pop, Memphis isn't trying to change the state law, just giving the police an option, because actually the police don't have discretion. They take discretion, at their whim, as you have testified, but nowhere in the law is it allowed and doing so is technically illegal. Memphis is making that discretion kindasorta ok. And the ordinance wouldn't affect state or federal law enforcement at all.
You want to see the law change, but that law is entrenched in hysteria and nurtured with hyperbole, and has a lot of big Tennessee money supporting it (see CCA) (aside: I'd be curious to know how much Spike Lamberth gets from them each year), and you do what you can, you chip away at it gradually until the culture shifts. It's already shifting. Things in Cottonmouth TN are just behind the times. Those small towns really do depend on things like rousting their poorer residents for fines just to keep their police departments afloat, and they're probably still a little sore about Memphis and Nashville opposition to 'game bird' fighting, so we can understand if Rep Lamberth would like to exploit this opportunity to divert highway funds from Memphis to pave his driveway.
No it was not.
It was a white Arlingtonian caught in Memphis.
I was involved in that process. What we recognized from the beginning was that the state ( specifically the Legislature and the Department of Education) were the entities empowered under the state constitution to set education policy and make the laws regarding its structure.
We recognized that the individual municipalities did not have the right to determine that for ourselves.
The campaign to change the law and establish our own education systems was rooted in convincing legislators to see it our way.
The Memphis City Council may profit from our example.
To be fair, we did a pretty good job of getting the state to see it our way regarding municipal schools, although one could argue that it wasn't on a whim nor were we directly empowered to do so.
I recall the punchline to the best obscene joke (that doesn't meet regularly in Nashville) ever, "It's not so funny when it's your mother is it?"
I'm guessing that your friend who had the 2 joints torn asunder and released wasn't a 19 year old black kid from Memphis caught in Arlington.
Of course not.
Municipalities are not empowered to change state laws at their whim, nor should they be.
BTW, I don't know that there is ban on interracial marriage in the state constitution. Not that it matters one way or the other. The US Supreme Court invalidated all such laws in 1967 with the Loving vs Virginia decision, and of course the Supreme Court is the higher authority.
Which is a principle the Memphis City County could profit by recognizing.
Changing the law in the legislature starts by changing the law in the leading municipalities. Once those changes are in effect, and are working, and the sky hasn't fallen, it will be much easier to change the law in the legislature. Small steps.
So why try to poke the state in the eye? What good does it do Memphis or ever have done Memphis?
The Legislature is jealous of it prerogative to determine laws that apply state-wide.
The MPD is certainly within its right to use its discretion when enforcing the possession laws. I know of one case involving a friend of mine who was caught with two joints. The cop tore them up, scattered the weed on the wind, and told him if the cop ever caught him again he would go to jail.
But don't try to abrogate state law. Legislators are going to react when a municipality tries to do that.
It is foolish for the Council not to have expected some sort of legislative pushback.
The place to change those laws, and I agree they seriously need changing, is the Legislature.
In Tennessee God's law supersedes man's law! So no more letting your cattle breed with a different kind, I'm looking at you Cottonwood.
No selling cotton after dark, either.
By Chris Shaw & Chris McCoy
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