MPD officers relieved of duty during confrontation - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jason Miles

MPD officers relieved of duty during confrontation

Memphis Police confirmed late Tuesday that nine police officers were relieved of duty earlier in the evening at the Memphis Police Association office on Jefferson Avenue. The nine officers include a lieutenant and a rookie, who just joined the force last week.

According to Sgt. Vince Higgins, the actions were part of an on going internal investigation.

At the Police Association building on Jefferson Tuesday night, several officers could be seen walking around the rear of the building. Their badges had been removed, and their weapons were also missing from their holsters.  The officers said they had been stripped, for the time being, of their duties as Memphis Police officers.

Reporter Jason Miles spoke with one of the officers, who did not want to be identified.

"I don't know. "We came up here to use the bathroom and have a bite to eat, and we're being relieved of duty," the officer said.

At a press conference Wednesday morning, director Godwin said he received a complaint call that motorcycle officers were "hanging out" at the Memphis Police Association headquarters on Jefferson Avenue.

Godwin said the officers were found to be neglecting their duties from anywhere between 30 minutes and 2 hours.

He added that some of the officers called dispatchers to say they were on assignment and would not be available for calls while others failed to inform dispatchers when their call was completed.

"I am outraged.  I would think the citizens of Memphis should be outraged," Godwin said.

The officers said the dismissals may have been retaliation for what was said on the Mike Fleming radio show earlier in the night. The show included discussion over an ongoing dispute between the administration and the Memphis Police Association. The dispute deals with the recent election of a new association president.

Higgins could not comment on whether or not any of that factored into the dismissals.

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