Tennessee Dem Protests Pro-Police Bill, Calls For Riot

A Democratic state senator called for riots on Friday due to a bill passed by the Republican-controlled state Senate which would stop cities from restricting police forces from certain traffic stops.

Sen. Charlene Oliver (D-TN) said that the pro-police bill, sponsored by Sen. Brent Taylor (R-TN) will force people in her district to “fight like hell.”

The legislation, which passed by a vote of 26-6 reportedly reverses a Memphis ordinance that banned police officers from making traffic stops over issues like expired registrations, loose bumpers and a single inoperable brake light or headlight.

“It is a slap in the face and you might as well stomp on the grave of Tyre Nichols,” Oliver said
of the bill, referring to the death of Tyre Nichols, a black man who got injured fatally on Jan. 7, 2023, during a confrontation with a group of five black Memphis police officers who pulled him over.

“Yes, we are emotionally charged. Why? Because it’s personal for us. 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.

“Dr. King said that riots are the language of the unheard. You ain’t seen nothing yet. If you keep silencing us like this, what do you think our district is going to do? We have had it up here. Gloves are off. Like, we gonna fight like hell. You don’t expect us to respond when you gaslight us every single day with these bills?” the lawmaker went further.

Taylor responded to Oliver’s condemnation of the legislation on X, writing, “Despite your overwhelming support for my bill that prohibits local governments from banning legal routine traffic stops, leftist opposition has been insane and totally out of touch with reality and our community’s demands.”

“I have been hearing from people in Democrat districts who have thanked me for passing this important legislation. These community members are tired of crime and bad policies that don’t allow police to do their jobs,” she added.

Having passed the state legislature, the bill is now up to Gov. Bill Lee, who has 10 days to decide to sign or veto it.