RUTHERFORD CO., Tenn. (WKRN) — Lawmakers in the Democratic and Legislative Black Caucuses are calling on Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slattery to investigate the conduct of Judge Donna Davenport. 

The Rutherford County Juvenile Judge has been accused of jailing black elementary school students on a made-up law.

Representative Vincent Dixie called the action by Judge Davenport “illegal and unconstitutional.” Now he wants the state’s top law enforcement officer to investigate.

Fallout continues after Rutherford County’s sole juvenile judge was accused of jailing Black elementary school students on a crime that doesn’t exist after the children witnessed a fight.

Now state lawmakers in the Legislative Black Caucus want answers.

“What happened in the system that would allow a judge to have this much power? It goes unchecked for so long and destroys so many kids’ lives.” Dixie said.

Dixie, a Nashville Democrat, cited the ProPublica and NPR report in a letter to attorney general slattery, saying Judge Davenport “routinely violated federal law in its detaining of minors.”

He added how children have been detained on made-up charges, held longer than they should have been, placed unnecessarily in solitary confinement and followed a set of vague guidelines that have often been interpreted in an illegal and unconstitutional manner.

“That should not be the norm, and that’s what worries me is that if you can make up a policy and that policy is a law without coming through the general assembly that’s a dangerous slippery slope that we do not want to start,” Dixon said.

Rutherford county Mayor Bill Ketron says he shares the concerns from the community but cannot comment on pending litigation. He noted changes were made in 2017 to meet federal and state laws.

“Do you think Judge Davenport should be investigated for allegedly jailing black children?”

Governor Bill Lee declined to comment when asked Thursday during an unannounced appearance at a senate republican retreat.

“It’s one thing to go against policy, it’s another thing to break laws and then self admittedly tell you that they broke the laws and have no remorse for doing it — says that i broke it multiple times on many occasions and i don’t care what are you going to do to me and she’s daring the attorney general, she’s daring the general assembly to do our job.” Dixon said. 

Among the allegations against Davenport are that she instituted a “filter system”, which allowed jail staff to determine when a child is released.

Attorney General Slattery did not respond to a request for comment.

Judge Davenport says she cannot comment due to pending litigation.