Family of fired WMPD officer claims racial slur led to fight

Family of fired WMPD officer claims racial slur led to fight

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Family and friends said new surveillance video clears the name of a fired West Memphis Police Officer.

"It proves that we didn't go looking for a fight," Dewayne Robinson said.

West Memphis Police Department fired five-year veteran Wendi Schuchardt on Friday for a fight from March 24 when she was off duty at the Clarion Hotel to celebrate her daughter's baby shower.

New surveillance video shows Schuchardt in pink following a guest dressed in black back to her room. That guest allegedly used a racial slur and threatened Schuchardt's pregnant daughter.

"She was like, 'look at these two n***** at the front desk,'" Robinson, Schuchardt' stepson, said.

In the video, the first person to throw a punch is that guest, not Schuchardt.

"West Memphis Police Department says that my step mom barged into that room, say that woman was defending herself. No she didn't. She stood outside the door," Robinson said.

He said the video proves Schuchardt was defending herself, and they called police multiple times before the fight.

"If they would have came, it would been a whole lot different, end of story, this fight never would have happened," Robinson said.

"We called the police like six times," Stephanie Thornton, who was there during the fight, said.

But an officer only got there after the fight.

On Thursday, West Memphis Police Department said Schuchardt, who worked as a school resource officer, was fired for her conduct, and specifically pointed out choking the guest, which is shown in the video.

"There was some legislation that came down years ago that banned police from using choke holds except in the situations that warranted deadly force. Obviously, this was not that case," WMPD Capt. Joe Baker said.

"I don't consider this choking. She was restraining the woman to keep from hitting her again," Thornton said.

"I do think she was wrongfully fired due to the fact of how this all had taken place. At the same time, we're just trying to clear our names because right now we're all being dragged through the mud," Robinson said.

Schuchardt is charged with felony aggravated assault and third-degree battery. No one from the other side of the fight is facing charges.

WMPD said they've seen the surveillance video and they stick by their decision to fire Schuchardt. They said her behavior was out of line before, during, and after the fight.

Robinson and Schuchardt's pregnant daughter are also facing charges.

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