Cop's fake shooting report could prove pricey - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Cop's fake shooting report could prove pricey

(WMC-TV) - Dozens of cops scurried throughout the city Saturday, searching for the mystery man who shot Sgt. Norman Benjamin.

Turns out they were chasing a fib. Memphis police have not yet calculated and estimated cost of this case. But during the Christmas of 2009, Oakland police officer Joshua smith fabricated a story about getting shot while on duty only to be saved by his badge.

Upon conviction, a judge ordered Smith to pay $5,633 for the cost of the investigation.

But the two incidents are different.

The Oakland case remained opened more than a month. The Memphis case unraveled within hours and by 6:28 Sunday morning, Martha Mote had been booked into jail.

But the Memphis City Council member who chairs the public safety committee says, despite its short duration, it was still an expensive wild goose chase.

"We've probably spent thousands of dollars in that investigation," said Councilman Jim Strickland.

The public safety committee makes many discussions about the Memphis Police Department's $220 million budget.

"If the allegations that were in the newspaper this morning turn out to be true, that it was not a real hold up and it was a domestic dispute, we've wasted a lot of money and it would be great if we could get it back," he said.

However, restitution may be as elusive as the mystery gunman police were chasing at first.

Benjamin's salary is slightly more than $59,000 per year. He remains hospitalized and is on leave from the department. However, he has not been charged with a crime at this point.

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