Update 07/14/06: Danny J. Crosby was suspended as the Coopertown Mayor pending a November proceeding which will determine whether he should be permanently removed from his office, due to the allegations which the state has made against him. The allegations includes the use racial slurs and ethnic profiling in traffic enforcement.
The State of Tennessee has sued to remove Danny J. Crosby as the Mayor of Coopertown, Tennessee.
Many Clarksville, Tennessee residents have learned the hard way about this sleepy little town of 3,176 residents. The town operates several infamous speed traps on Interstate 24, U.S. 431, and State highway 49. The city’s police budget has nearly tripled, from $155,880 during the last year to $451,550 this fiscal year. The town budget plans on between $400,000 and $800,000 in traffic court revenues, comprising over one third of the city budget. This percentage is much higher than that of many larger U.S. cities.
Mayor Crosby is accused of misusing the city’s power, disgracing the office of the mayor, and multiple violations of the public trust including:
- Running a speed trap
- Ordering police to profile out of town residents, Hispanics, and US Military Personnel from Fort Campbell who would be less likely to contest the tickets
- Racism and fostering an atmosphere of racial intolerance
- Violating the civil rights of state residents
- Planting false evidence
- Ordering unlawful arrests of his political enemies
- Violating the state open-meeting laws
- Violating child labor laws
- Threatening and intimidating local citizens
Coopertown is located 25 miles north of Nashville and 20 miles south of Clarksville on Interstate 24 in Robertson County Tennessee. Coopertown encompasses nearly 25 square miles.The City of Coopertown has no property tax. Local services are paid for by funds raised from sales taxes and traffic fines. The city offers 24 hour a day police protection, road maintenance, and building and codes enforcement. Fire service is contracted out to Pleasant View Volunteer Fire Department.
In January 2006 the Coopertown PD had 11 full time and one part time officer. They have eight police vehicles assigned to the department. It was also stated that they patrol I-24 4 miles on the east bound lanes, and one mile westbound.
Tennessee State Representatives have acknowledged that speed traps are a serious problem in Tennessee. Legislation has been proposed, which would require that safety be the only reason for reducing speed limits, prohibit towns from annexing land to gain jurisdiction over interstate highways, and ban local law enforcement officers from from policing the interstates. They understand that police speed traps damage the image of Tennessee held by tourists, and annoy commuters.