Officials in the tiny east Texas town of Tenaha are accused in a federal lawsuit of stopping African-Americans driving through town and seizing their money and property by threatening them with criminal prosecution — or worse.
Tenaha, Texas, has about 1,000 residents and is about 60 miles southwest of Shreveport, Louisiana.
Among the plaintiffs are two African-Americans who claim they forfeited more than $50,000 under threat of money-laundering charges, and a biracial couple who gave up more than $6,000 after officials threatened to put their children in foster care. No one was charged with a crime.
The lawsuit…has 10 plaintiffs, said attorney Timothy Garrigan, one of the attorneys. But he told CNN Wednesday that “we get more inquiries every day.” Attorneys are seeking class-action status for the suit, he said.
The suit names as defendants Tenaha’s mayor and deputy city marshal, plus several Shelby County officials, including the district attorney. It alleges that the officials “have developed an illegal ‘stop and seize’ practice of targeting, stopping, detaining, searching and often seizing property from apparently non-white citizens and those traveling with non-white citizens…”
You’d think this crap would have ended decades ago. When I lived in the Deep South the rule of thumb was you only had to be a backwoods sheriff for 2 years to make enough money to retire on.
Looks like some of these fumblebutts are still at it.