Bill limiting oversight panels heads to Tennessee House

Posted at 4:56 PM, Feb 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-27 17:56:59-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A bill limiting the powers of community oversight boards to investigate police misconduct claims is headed to the Tennessee House floor.

House Republicans advanced the bill on Wednesday with just Democratic lawmakers voting in opposition. No public testimony was given.

The proposed bill prevents oversight boards from having subpoena power, requires board members to be registered to vote and prohibits limiting membership based on demographics, economic status or employment history.

Nashville's new oversight board - which was approved in November - allows subpoena power and dictates that four of the seven members should live in "economically distressed communities." The Fraternal Order of Police opposed the measure and unsuccessfully attempted to block the vote in the buildup of the election.

Knoxville and Memphis also have similar boards.