Police association rallies around MPD Director Toney Armstrong

UNCUT: News conference about MPD Director Toney Armstrong

(WMC-TV) – The Memphis Police Association is rallying around Director Toney Armstrong after Mayor Wharton condemned police corruption in Memphis.

The mayor's statements came after an off duty Memphis police officer shot and killed a teenager. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation identified that officer as Terrance Shaw.

MPA President Michael Williams threw the union's compete support behind Armstrong at a news conference Wednesday.

"He was humiliated yesterday," said Williams referring to a Tuesday news conference in which Mayor A C Wharton described the current state of the Memphis Police Department as "unacceptable".

"We feel the mayor has to accept responsibility," said Williams. "A lot of crime scenes we have the mayor showing up. Why? Let the director be the director. You be the mayor. Do your job."

All of this comes after off duty officer Terrance Shaw shot and killed 15-year-old Justin Thompson.

"The mayor is talking about sending in the TBI. That is just as ridiculous as sending in the National Guard," said Memphis City Councilwoman Janis Fullilove.

Fullilove says Armstrong deserves no blame whatsoever. She says the mayor is micromanaging the police department.

"The mayor is standing on the bodies of two young dead men saying that the police department is a mess. Well, it was a mess when Director Armstrong inherited, so allow him to do his job," said Fullilove.

"He is teetering on whether he wants to keep this job," said Williams.

Mayor Wharton released a written statement saying Armstrong suggested bringing the TBI in to investigate the case.

The mayor also says he chose Armstrong and believes he made an excellent choice, "I have every confidence in Director Toney Armstrong to keep our streets safe, to continue decreasing crime rates in Memphis, and to get the job done. With 23 years on the force, he is a proven and exceptional leader and has my full support."

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