Tennessee Democrat Decries Pro-Police Bill, Calls For Violence

A Democrat in Tennessee recently called for riots after the state legislature passed a bill favoring law enforcement.

Tennessee State Sen. Charlane Oliver (D) issued a scathing rebuke of the pro-police bill and called for violence upon its passage.

“It’s a slap in the face, and you might as well stomp on the grave of Tyree Nichols for bringing this bill,” Oliver said, referring to Tyre Nichols — a 29-year-old Black man who was killed by Memphis police officers on Jan. 7, 2023.

“Yes we are emotionally charged. Why? Because it’s personal for us. [Sen. Brent] Taylor made this personal the minute he introduced this legislation to target one family and one life that was lost. So yeah, we gonna fight,” Oliver added.

Oliver cited Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s thoughts on riots, saying it is the “language of the unheard.”

“You ain’t seen nothing yet. If you keep silencing us like this, what do you think our district’s gonna do?” Oliver said. “We have had it up there, gloves off. Like, we got to fight like hell. You don’t expect us to respond?”

Oliver’s call for violence comes after Nichols was killed during an altercation with officers in Memphis, Tennessee, on Jan. 7, 2023. Law enforcement personnel approached the 29-year-old’s vehicle, leading him to flee on foot. As a result, officers chased him, detained him and took him into custody.

Nichols complained of shortness of breath following the incident and was pronounced dead three days later. The five Memphis police officers charged in the death of Nichols were Black Americans.

At the time, Memphis had measures in place outlawing pretextual traffic stops for violations like a broken taillight, according to the Post Millennial.

The bill passed by the Tennessee legislature bars local areas from blocking traffic stops when an officer suspects that a local ordinance or state law has been broken. The legislation now awaits Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s (R) signature.

Lee has not commented on the bill but has not vetoed any legislation during his tenure.
Tennessee House Republicans recently approved the legislation and Senate Republicans adopted it, with just six Democrats in the chamber opposing it.