Tenaha Police History
The following is from a reader:
I spoke with my contact in Shelby County. She believes that all the officers that were involved in the Civil Asset Forfeitures are no longer with the department. However, the District Attorney at the time was Linda Kay Russell. She was caught spending the money on things that were not lawful and was asked to step down. And she did. However, she was rehired as an assistant DA. And since the DA just received a new heart transplant Linda
Kay Russell is back running the DA’s office.
Below is some information I was able to dig up.
Barry Washington, testified that he considered the ethnicity and religion of the motorists to be factors relevant to establishing reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Under oath, when asked what indicators of criminal activity might be, Washington testified:
Well, there could be several things. There could even be indicators on the
vehicle. The number one thing is you have two guys stopped, and these two guys are from New York. They’re two Puerto Ricans. They’re driving a car that has a Baptist Church symbol on the back, says First Baptist Church of New York.
Guillory says of the 40 motorists he contacted, 39 were black. He estimates officials seized $3 million between 2006 and 2008 from improper seizures.
Public records requests revealed that the District Attorney used some of the money to buy a $524 popcorn machine, $195 for candy and $400 for catering.
Seized funds also went to the local Chamber of Comerce, a youth baseball league and a local church.
 Tuchman, G., & Wojtecki, K. (2009, May 5). Texas police shake down
drivers, lawsuit claims. CNN.com. Retrieved September 16, 2009, from
 Witt, H. (2009, March 10). Highway robbery in Texas?; Lawsuit says
motorists, disproportionately black, are forced by police to forfeit cash,
cars and more–or be charged with trumped-up crimes. Chicago Tribune, p. C4; Sandberg, L. (2009, February 7). Property seizures seen as piracy. San Antonio Express-News, p.1A.
 2nd Amended Complaint at 1, Morrow v. City of Tenaha No. 2:08cv288 (E.D. Tx. filed Jun. 30, 2009). Tuchman and Wojtecki, 2009.
 Morrow v. City of Tenaha No. 2:08cv288 at 9; Tuchman and Wojtecki, 2009.
 Tuchman and Wojtecki, 2009.
 Witt, 2009; Tuchman and Wojtecki, 2009.