Did Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada’s office try to frame a young activist who had challenged Republican lawmakers during this year’s legislative session?
An exclusive NewsChannel 5 investigation has uncovered new evidence – including racist text messages – that raise questions about the Speaker’s $200,000-a-year chief of staff, Cade Cothren.
Now, Nashville District Attorney General Glenn Funk has requested a special prosecutor to take a hard look at the case.
“This was an extreme form of retaliation where you are willing to lie to take away somebody’s freedom,” said Justin Jones, the student activist who was targeted by the Speaker’s office.
This year, Casada repeatedly found himself at the center of protests — protests over voting rights issues, as well as the legislature’s refusal to remove the bust of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest from the state Capitol.
One of the main thorns in the Speaker’s side has been Jones, a Vanderbilt divinity student and civil rights activist.