Memphis police sergeant charged with domestic assault - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis police sergeant charged with domestic assault

Michael Hill (Source: ShelbySheriff.org) Michael Hill (Source: ShelbySheriff.org)

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A sergeant with the Memphis Police Department was arrested Saturday on charges of domestic assault and false imprisonment, authorities said.

The incident happened around 4:15 p.m. when officers were called to a residence in the 4400 block on Hancock.  When officers arrived, witnesses said the suspect, 50-year-old Michael Hill and his 38-year-old estranged wife had been in a fight, during which Hill allegedly struck her several times.

Police confirmed Hill, an officer for 23 years, is relieved of duty pending an investigation into domestic assault and false imprisonment charges.

Investigators said Hill took his wife and her friend's six-month-old baby on a wild ride in a car Friday afternoon after they got into a fight.  Officers caught up with the pair after the victim dialed 911 from her cell phone.

Their car was eventually stopped near Tchulahoma and Winchester Road.  Hill was arrested and taken to 201 Poplar on charges of domestic assault and false imprisonment.  He was later released on $2,500 bail.

"A situation occurred," said Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin.  "Some emotions took over."

Godwin was faced with a similar scenario earlier this month and last December.

"It's just extremely disappointing," he said.

In three months, three Memphis women have pressed charged against three officers in different domestic violence cases.

LaToria Parker of the YWCA said domestic violence is on the rise in the Mid-South.

"We really hope that they take their pledge seriously," said Parker.  "As in keeping and protecting everyone, including their families."

Earlier this month, the supervisor of the police department's Domestic Violence Unit, Major Stanley Eason, was accused of pulling his gun and badge on his wife, who was out with another man on Valentine's Day.

In December, police said officer Dexter Walker beat his estranged girlfriend at the Extended Stay Motel.

Parker was asked if this behavior was surprising.

"Yes it is, and not it isn't," said Parker.  "Because anyone can be a victim and anyone can be an abuser."

Some counselors said domestic violence victims in relationships with authority figures have added fear of exposing the abuse.

"Sometimes as a victim you have to say enough is enough," said Parker.  "Let me seek help.  Let me reach out to my family and friends and even to the YWCA.  It is an outlet.  There are several outlets for victims of domestic violence."

The domestic violence hotline at the YWCA is (901) 725-4277.  It covers West Tennessee, North Mississippi and East Arkansas.

According to police, Hill has been employed by the Memphis Police Department since September  of 1988, and is currently a sergeant assigned to the Felony Response Bureau.

Officer Walker is due back in court March 2.  Major Eason's next court appearance is not scheduled.

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