Seven officers suspended for fight following shooting death of f - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Seven officers suspended for fight following shooting death of fellow MPD officer

MEMPHIS, TN - (WMC-TV) – Action News 5 has learned seven Memphis Police officers have been suspended for a fight that happened just hours after a fellow officer's death. Those officers were relieved of duty without pay.

Two suspects involved in that fight were arrested, and now they're suing.

The incident happened July 4th, 2011, the same night Memphis Police officer Tim Warren was shot and killed by a suspect at a downtown hotel. Officer Warren worked out of the same police station where the suspended off duty officers worked and where the altercation with the two suspects happened.

The seven Memphis police officers were suspended without pay last month after the incident at the building near Beale Street that used to be the police entertainment district unit office. Police said off duty officer Marico Flake was in the parking lot of the building at Linden and Second.

Investigators said officer Marico Flake heard a loud disturbance near the building. He approached the two men and told them to stop making noise and leave the area. That's when an altercation started between the two men and Flake.

The police affidavit says Officer Flake identified himself as an off duty officer and one of the suspects said, "if you are off duty you need to leave." Flake called for help. Off duty officers also in the area showed up.

According to a lawsuit filed by the two men, they claim officer Flake was dressed in civilian clothing and never identified himself as a police officer.

In the lawsuit their friends said they saw one or more of the off duty officers discard alcoholic containers just before the altercation. The two suspects say they were beaten by the off duty officers. They are asking for two and a half million dollars in damages.

In administrative hearings held January 30th, officers Marico Flake, Cecil Fowler, Steven Breth, Joshua Howard and Jonathan Barron were suspended without pay on charges of using excessive force and personal conduct.

Officer Eric Lee was suspended without pay for using excessive force, and officer  Francis Cherry was suspended without pay for personal conduct.

The two men who claim they were beaten, Michael McDonald and Quinton Lytle were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, public intoxication and resisting arrest.

Even though the seven officers were suspended without pay, no criminal charges have been filed against the men. The suspensions ranged from four to 15 days.

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