Tenaha is a town in Shelby County, Texas, United States, established February 2, 1886. The population was 1,160 at the 2010 census. The community was named by members of the Hicks family for Tenehaw Municipality, from the Spanish, the original name of Shelby County.
In 2009 Tenaha became a defendant in a class action lawsuit over allegations that local police regularly made improper seizures of cash, jewelry, and property from African-American and Latino motorists passing through the town. Arrested drivers were given a choice of either going to jail on money-laundering felony charges or handing over all their valuables in order to be allowed to walk free. In one case a couple surrendered $6,000 to keep their children out of child protection services. In addition to taking of valuables from motorists who were not criminally charged, Tenaha officials allegedly agreed to lenient sentences for known drug traffickers in exchange for cash forfeitures. An article in the New Yorker gives further detail.