80 page TBI report emphasizes shootings involving officers - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

80 page TBI report emphasizes shootings involving officers

MPD Director Toney Armstrong MPD Director Toney Armstrong
Mike Williams, Head of the Memphis Police Association Mike Williams, Head of the Memphis Police Association

(WMC-TV) – An 80 page report by Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, focusing on shootings involving police officers, reveals that more training may be needed for law enforcement agencies statewide.

The report released by TBI is the first of its kind. The study looked at a five year period polling almost 300 law enforcement agencies, focusing on officers who used deadly force during that period.

"It's been a year and I do still haven't gotten any closure and it really hurts inside," said Shirley Thompson, whose 15-year-old son, Justin, was killed by a former Memphis police officer.

Former MPD officer Terrance Shaw says Shirley's son was trying to rob him when the shooting occurred, but she does not believe that.

The TBI study shows that more than 230 incidents happened between 2007 and 2011. To be exact, 234 police shootings occurred by 84 agencies in those five years. In comparison, 764 police officers were shot at during that same time period.

The study's main recommendation is that officers need more training when dealing with people with mental illnesses.

Mike Williams, head of the Memphis Police Association, says Memphis is the model for crisis intervention training. Williams says officers from all over the country come to Memphis to learn.

"I have to give Director Armstrong a lot of credit because he has added additional training at the academy that all officers must go through and all officers are trained in some form of CIT initially," said Williams.

Shirley Thompson says any efforts are worth it to save other people from experiencing what she has gone through.

"I can't even explain it it hurst so bad on the inside," she said.

Police shootings in Memphis skyrocketed in 2013 with a total of seven.

Mike Williams says that is part of the reason for the extra training officers are now required to complete.

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