Beale Street arrests the result of misunderstanding, friends say - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Beale Street arrests the result of misunderstanding, friends say

(WMC-TV) - Four people arrested on Beale Street for disorderly conduct claim they got a raw deal from police, but police say the arrests were justified.

What happened on Beale Street Thursday night depends on who you talk to.

"All I did was walk up to a squad car and I got arrested," said Donny Smith, who was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.

"I said, 'May I ask you why you're putting him under arrest?' And that's when she grabbed me, put me in handcuffs, and pulled me to the car," Melanie Wrenn added.

Several friends claim Memphis police officers arrested them after officers thought one of their friends insulted a female officer.

In an email to Action News 5, Memphis Police Department spokeswoman Karen Rudolph said the arrests were made during a large disturbance at Third and Beale.

Police say an officer was called a 'b---h,' and after warning people to leave they arrested several people at that location.

Richard Wilson admits he used profanity, but says it was not directed at the officer.

"When I walked out they were arresting somebody else, I turned to my friend and said, 'Ain't that a b---h?' The lady turned around and said, 'Did you call me a b---h?' I said, 'No Ma'am.'"

And Wilson claims someone broke into his car while he was locked up in jail.

"The price of the window was $400 dollars," he said. "They stole my credit card, my bank card and her birth certificate."

At court Monday morning, prosecutors declined to prosecute Wilson and another man, Jesse Roberts, who was also charged. But Donny Smith and Melanie Wrenn were instructed to come back to court with lawyers.

According to Rudolph, a Memphis police officer can make an arrest if the officer feels someone is being disorderly in a public place.

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