Council grills Godwin over OCU raid

Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin
Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The Memphis City Council was scheduled to talk to Police Director Larry Godwin Tuesday about the death of a suspected north Memphis drug dealer at the hands of a Bartlett police officer.

But when Godwin said he could not talk about the Bartlett case because of an ongoing FBI investigation, the grilling shifted to the director's Organized Crime Unit.

"The rumor has it that OCU knew that they were in the wrong house," council member Myron Lowery said.

Council members told Godwin they have been flooded with complaints that claim the MPD's Organized Crime Unit recently searched and ransacked the wrong house on Lastrada Cove.

"I'm going to request there be an audit of OCU and property and evidence," council member Janis Fullilove said.

Godwin said he was ready for an outside investigation.

"I welcome any external, out of this department, investigation," he said.

Fullilove said she wanted details of the Organized Crime Unit's procedures.

"Someone close to you in your department suggested I request that of you before the full council," she told Godwin.

"That could really jeopardize some lives and the investigations," he replied.

Then, council member Harold Collins said they would not need Godwin - they could subpoena the information.

"Let's get this handled as quickly as possible," he said.

When Godwin told council members he has not heard the same complaints, council member Wanda Halbert went at him.  Halbert told Godwin that complaints she has brought to police have gone unanswered.

"It's uncomfortable," she said. "I'm uncomfortable. I've had to go out and get me protection."

"I'm not sure about your accusations and what you believe," Godwin replied.

Fullilove then returned back to the Lastrada Grove case.

"She's been hospitalized twice," she said of a person involved in the case. "You understand?"

"First of all, we did not hit the wrong house," Godwin said. "Second of all, I welcome any outside investigation, and General Gibbons can come in and investigate this particular incident.  I welcome it.  Bring it."

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