Criminal justice professor analyzes police altercation caught on tape

A disagreement between a Memphis Police Officer and a man was that caught on tape has led to an internal investigation, and questions about how acted inappropriately and who acted out.

The argument took place right here in the post office parking lot on Front Street.

Lisa Settle, a criminal justice professor at LeMoyne-Owen College watched a video of the altercation.

"You have a citizen asking other citizens for help with the police," Settle said. "What I think this shows is another example of the rift between law enforcement and the citizens they serve. An 'us and them' mentality."

The altercation started with an officer allegedly hitting and slightly denting a citizen's truck with a car door.

Officer: "I am not chipping your paint.I am not chipping your paint."
Citizen: "Excuse me..get away from me."

Settle said the citizen she was wrong in this situation. "Here's a police officer getting out of a car with a man standing at her door," Settle said, "which will instantly send an officer into aggressive mode."

"He should've gotten a name, the tag number and let it go," she said.

The incident escalated as more officers arrived. Settle said the behavior of both the police and civilians on the scene was interesting.

''He didn't talk to the police officer, nor did he talk to the complainant," she said. "The first person he talked to was a witness, and he went to what he considered to be an objective third party."

Settle said the tape would make a great teaching tool of what to do, and what not to do, when officers and citizens collide.