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'Tennessean' reporter has background check by THP

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A list of 182 people believed to have been subjects of background checks from a Tennessee Highway Patrol officer includes the Tennessean reporter who revealed the Highway Patrol's probe into the officer's unauthorized activities.

Brad Schrade, who has reported on the Highway Patrol for years and first reported the probe earlier this month, received a call Saturday morning from a Highway Patrol special agent who said that Lt. Ronnie Shirley, the subject of the probe, had accessed Schrade's background information.

"For a state police agency or one of its agents to investigate a reporter who has produced legitimate and critically important coverage of the agency smacks of the intimidation and retribution you would expect to find in a totalitarian state," Silverman said.


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