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TN Bill would increase liability protections for police during pursuits

Tennessee Republicans lawmakers filed legislation last week to increase liability protections for officers in pursuit of a fleeing suspect.

According to House Bill 2605, law enforcement personnel and their agency would not be liable for injuries to a third party caused by a suspect who flees from authorities “unless the law enforcement personnel were grossly negligent” and that gross negligence “was a proximate cause” of the injuries.

“This legislation only protects law enforcement officers who follow the proper policies and procedures while pursuing a fleeing suspect,” said State Rep. John Gillespie, R-Memphis. “It is important that officers and their departments still be held accountable for any third-party injuries caused by grossly negligent conduct.”

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The bill was introduced and passed the Tennessee senate (SB2451) on first consideration on Feb. 3. It is now before the house. It would need to pass both chambers and receive the governor’s signature before becoming law.

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