Former Memphis officer charged with robbing two men during traffic stop

By Jason Miles - bio | email | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A Memphis Police officer is off the job after he was charged Wednesday with using his power to rob two men during a traffic stop.

Rookie Lorenzo Couch resigned Wednesday shortly before official charges were filed.

Less than a year after joining the force, investigators said 26-year-old Couch robbed two men of $452 during a traffic stop along Macon Road last week.

Eduardo Rodriguez works at the gas station where the victims were pulled over.

"Just pulled them over right here on the side of the store and just took their money from them," said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez knows both victims and said they may have been targeted because they were Hispanic.

"They're even scared to come out right now, for any reason," said Rodriguez.  "They'll just stay in the house if there's not reason to come out."

The two victims told investigators they were afraid of Couch because he was in uniform, armed with a gun and could "shoot them."

Couch was identified by the men as the cop who robbed them after they were shown a series of photographs.

Couch reportedly admitted to the crime during an interrogation, saying, "They had to do what I said because I was in uniform and had a gun and badge.  Because I was in control."

"It's good to know he's been charged," said Rodriguez.  "We can get justice and we've got our rights."

Couch most recently worked at the Tillman Station Precinct.  He was arrested Tuesday and charged Wednesday after he submitted his resignation.

Couch is due in court Thursday morning.  A judge will likely then set a bond.

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