NASHVILLE -- The state House today sent Gov. Bill Haslam a bill providing courts direction on using public nuisance laws to bar criminal gang members from specifically designated public areas like parks and neighborhoods.
The Community Safety Act, which senators approved last week, passed the House on a 94-1 vote.
With little guidance provided from a 2009 change in Tennessee law, judges in Nashville and Memphis have fashioned responses to city officials' requests to bar two or more gang members.
In Nashville, one gang is barred from entering a Nashville park they once dominated a park. A similar action took place in Memphis, where a gang was prohibited from coming into a neighborhood.
The Haslam administration brought the bill. It underwent a number of changes to address several concerns raised by civil libertarians on the right and left.
Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...