(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — This year, during the second extraordinary session of the 111th General Assembly, State Rep. and Republican Caucus Vice-Chairman Brandon Ogles (R-Franklin) joined with House leadership to file our nation’s first Mob Violence Governmental Accountability Bill. This legislation addresses violent protests, disorderly behavior, and mob violence, and it is now law in Tennessee.
House Bill 8006 removes civil liability immunity and enables financial recourse to citizens, business, and property owners if mayors, chief executives, governing boards, and government entities choose to prohibit law enforcement or fire and rescue services from doing their jobs, enforcing Tennessee’s laws, or protecting our citizens during public demonstrations. The measure is especially timely after recent violence and unrest in cities like Philadelphia, Seattle, and Portland. It is also necessary after violence erupted during protests in downtown Nashville back in May.
“This legislation sends a strong message to elected officials and bureaucrats who subjectively try to interfere with our law enforcement community,” said Vice-Chairman Ogles. “This law now holds these rogue individuals financially accountable for their weak resolve.”
The bill does not apply to decisions made by local law enforcement, fire or rescue services personnel based upon safety risks of those responding or to the general public. Under the legislation, any entity that violates the law will be held financially liable for damages, injury or death that occurs.
“Tennessee is a law and order state, and we stand with our police, our firefighters, our EMS personnel, and other first responders,” said House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville). “If local entities impede these brave men and women from performing their official duties, the local entity will lose their tort protections under this bill. I appreciate Vice-Chairman Ogles for all of his hard work creating this solution, for his unwavering support of our first responders, and for making sure our businesses and families are protected.”
“Vice-Chairman Ogles has been a leader on both criminal justice reform, as well as solutions that hold bad actors accountable for their actions,” said House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R-Portland). “We are grateful to him for creating this legislation and for his dedication to safe communities across Tennessee. I look forward to working with him again on these and other important issues during the upcoming legislative session.”
Throughout his tenure in our General Assembly, Vice-Chairman Ogles has focused on protecting Tennesseans and their families from predatory and disruptive behavior. He will continue to advocate against aggressive criminals, specifically targeting domestic violence and crimes against our most vulnerable citizens.
The 112th General Assembly officially begins on Jan. 12, 2021.