Injured MPD officer makes first public appearance

By Jason Miles - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis Police officer Justina Scoggins was out of uniform Thursday night.  But bandages were clearly visible over wounds she received during a recent stabbing.

"And I thank the Lord I'm here," Scoggins told a gathering of the neighborhood watch group known as the Midtown Security Community.

The meeting became a heartfelt tribute to her service.

"She did everything we would expect her to do," said MPD Col. Billy Garrett.

Officer Scoggins was repeatedly stabbed by a suspect February 21st while answering a nuisance call at an abandoned apartment complex.  Lashunaye Railford has since been charged with attempted 2nd degree murder.

"There are a lot of good people that I work with that spent countless hours trying to catch this guy," Scoggins told the crowd.  "And I know a lot of people wanted to get a piece of him," she added.

Her colleagues said Scoggins joked the day she was injured.  But they consider her stabbing a reminder of the challenges police continually face. 

"You've always known there'd be no desk job for me," said Scoggins as she read from a poem she wrote in the midst of her graduation from the police academy.  "I love challenge, adventure, service, that's the key," she added.

"Because of my gender, my confidence was low," she read.  "If I get the opportunity, my commitment will show," she added.

The commitment to her job is why those who honored Officer Scoggins look forward to her continued service.

Scoggins could not talk about the stabbing because she didn't want to jeopardize the criminal case.  A congressional commendation was among the honors she received during Thursday night's meeting.

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