Social justice group demands policy for 'hazards'

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Mid-South social justice group has declared the Memphis Police Department headquarters a "hazard."

For months the group has been looking for answers from city officials concerning a database that they said contains healthcare information.

Memphis Peace and Justice simply wants transparency, and they're now calling city hall and MPD headquarters a hazard.  They're demanding a policy.

"Without a strong policy, it's rightful misuse. You can't have outdated information in there that can have outdated consequences for a resident who lives there maybe 10 years after," Paul Garner said.

They first placed a hazard sign outside MPD headquarters and marched over to city hall singing a Christmas carol. Then they placed a hazard sign outside of city hall.

Mid-South Peace and Justice protesters rallied again, working to find out how someone's address can be deemed a hazard and why there's no set policy for it.

This comes after Reginald Johnson claims MPD labeled him a hazard after he filed a complaint last year when he was arrested. His charges were dropped.

Protesters said they're also learning, because of these hazard locations, dispatchers have access to residents' private information.

The city maintains there is no hazard list, and hazards are placed on locations based on prior incidents for officers' safety.

"I think it's a good thing to keep officer's safe. If you're going to a home that has been predisposed of a person with a mental issue or a known person who fights officers, but I'm not that person. I'm a person who does the right thing and to have my placed on a list like that, it's hurtful," Johnson said.

The city said a few examples of hazards are barricades, mental consumers and combative parties.

Protesters plan to continue rallying until they get answers.

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