Thursday, July 31 2014 1:43 PM EDT2014-07-31 17:43:57 GMT
(WMC) – The third day of Maurice Brown Sr.'s murder trial began on Thursday, July 31 with the state recalling an officer who collected evidence from Brown's apartment. Brown Sr. is accused of murderingMore >>
The third day of Maurice Brown Sr.'s murder trial began on Thursday, July 31 with the state recalling an officer who collected evidence from Brown's apartment.More >>
Thursday, July 31 2014 1:23 PM EDT2014-07-31 17:23:35 GMT
(WMC) – Two 17 year olds are charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 29-year-old Keith Blevins. On Tuesday, July 22, Memphis police responded to a shooting in the 4000 block of RhodesMore >>
Two 17 year olds are charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 29-year-old Keith Blevins.More >>
Thursday, July 31 2014 12:45 PM EDT2014-07-31 16:45:57 GMT
(WMC) – Several Mid-South employers are looking for workers at a career fair hosted at the University of Phoenix Memphis campus on Thursday. Representatives from Memphis Police Department, Shelby County,More >>
Several Mid-South employers are looking for workers at a career fair hosted at the University of Phoenix Memphis campus on Thursday.More >>
Thursday, July 31 2014 10:23 AM EDT2014-07-31 14:23:19 GMT
(WMC) – Arkansas State Police are on the scene of a report of a body found near the Interstate 55 exit to Jericho, Arkansas, which is about 17 miles from Memphis. Reports are a body may have been foundMore >>
Arkansas State Police are on the scene of a report of a body found near the Interstate 55 exit to Jericho, Arkansas, which is about 17 miles from Memphis.More >>
Video obtained by Action News 5 and first aired Tuesday shows a Memphis police officer beating a suspect at 201 Poplar in an apparent case of police brutality.
The video, recorded February 12th, shows Duanna Johnson in the booking area at the Shelby County Criminal Justice Center after an arrest for prostitution. On the tape, a Memphis police officer walks over to Johnson - a transsexual - and hits her in the face several times.
According to Johnson the officer was attempting to call her over to be fingerprinted. Johnson said she chose not respond to the derogatory name the officer called her. On the tape, the officer can be seen hitting Johnson several times with handcuffs wrapped around his knuckles. The tape shows another officer holding Johnson's shoulders as she tries to protect herself. After she is sprayed with mace, Johnson was eventually handcuffed and left on the floor.
Wednesday, Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton was not ready to comment about the video.
"Don't ask me to comment when I don't have the facts," Herenton said. "When I can get some facts on the situation I'll talk to you about it. I don't know anything about it."
Though the mayor was not aware of what happened, Johnson's attorney said a letter was sent in March describing the incident to Herenton, Police Chief Larry Godwin, and others.
"An event has occurred that I have not been briefed on," Herenton said. "Somebody is going to brief me, and then we can talk about it."
Meanwhile, gay and lesbian groups expressed outrage at the videotape.
In an email to Action News 5, the Tennessee Transgender Political Coaltion called the jailhouse beat down a cowardly attack. The group said the video captured the brutality of the attack and the indifference Johnson suffered by members of the Memphis police and the attending nurse.
Dr. Marissa Richmond, President of the TTPC called the attack a "hate crime" and demanded the police officer involved be charged with dereliction of duty.
An email from the Tennessee Equality Project said the video raised serious questions about the kind of diversity traning provided to employees of the Memphis Police Department.
The officer shown hitting Johnson in the video is Bridges McRae, who became a commissioned police officer four years ago. A look at his personnel record shows many commendations and many excellent reviews. His only reprimands were for wearing a baseball cap with his uniform and not showing up for a court date. McRae is on none-enforcement status pending a hearing.
The officer shown holding Duanna Johnson is James Swain. He was a probationary officer who joined the force this year. Wednesday, a police spokesperson said he was no longer employed by the police department.
A copy of the tape was reviewed by both the FBI and the District Attorney's office, the latter of which dropped all charges against Johnson. An FBI investigation into possible civil rights violations is still underway.
Since the video of the jailhouse beat down first aired on Action News 5, we have learned more about the other people who were in the in-take area at the jail during the incident, particularly the nurse who was called to help.
The Shelby County Sheriff's Department tells Action News 5 that a nurse employed by the Sheriff's Department was called to assess the situation.
The nurse asked Duanna Johnson if she was okay, and noticed Johnson had been sprayed with mace.
A spokesman for the Sheriff's Department said the nurse determined Johnson was not in an emergency situation, and then left the room to make arrangements for the Memphis Police Department to transport Johnson to The Med for treatment.
Later, the nurse returned to provide the officer medical care for a scratch on the back of his head.
Johnson was in the custody of the Memphis Police Department during her time in the in-take area.
The Sheriff's Department also stressed that none of their deputies or employees were involved in this incident in any way, but did give statements about what they witnessed.
Wednesday morning, the following statement was released by the Memphis Police Department:
The Memphis Police Department does not condone any misconduct of a police officer that will compromise official law enforcement duties or the rights or safety of our citizens.
As it relates to the February incident that occurred at the jail facility, the police department has been conducting a thorough internal investigation. The details surrounding the complainant, witnesses and law enforcement officials’ statements are part of an ongoing investigation and can not be released at this time.
As a standard departmental policy, a full, impartial hearing will be held with the accused officer.
Memphis Police can confirm the work status of the two primary officers involved in this complaint. Officer J. Swain was a probationary officer and has been separated from the Memphis Police Department. Officer B. McRae has been placed on non-enforcement status pending an administrative hearing.
Memphis Police can also confirm the Federal Bureau of Investigation had been notified and requested to look into the complaint further.
Detective Monique Y. Martin Memphis Police Department Office of Public Information/Media Relations
Friday, July 25 2014 3:19 PM EDT2014-07-25 19:19:10 GMT
(WMC) – A prostitution sting was conducted at a Southaven hotel Thursday. As a result, the following 12 people were arrested: Preston K. Mitchell, 52, Memphis, Tenn., charged with procuring prostitutionMore >>
A prostitution sting was conducted at a Southaven hotel Thursday. Twelve people were arrested.More >>
Thursday, July 31 2014 8:05 AM EDT2014-07-31 12:05:16 GMT
(WMC) - After a nine-month lockout, a judge ordered Kellogg in Memphis to put more than 200 people back to work. Judge Samuel "Hardy" Mays agrees with federal labor officials who say the company wasMore >>
After a nine-month lockout in Memphis, a judge ordered Kellogg Company to put more than 200 people back to work within five days. More >>
Thursday, July 31 2014 6:37 AM EDT2014-07-31 10:37:03 GMT
(WMC) - Shelby County Democrats have dug up an 11-year-old audio clip to try and discredit Mayor Mark Luttrell. Mayor Luttrell says he heard this audio clip in a new radio ad by the Shelby County Democrats.More >>
Shelby County Democrats have dug up an 11-year-old audio clip to try and discredit Mayor Mark Luttrell.More >>
Thursday, July 31 2014 8:06 AM EDT2014-07-31 12:06:38 GMT
(WMC) - A recent TBI investigation revealed a four-city child sex trafficking loop made up of Memphis, Nashville, Atlanta and Birmingham. Investigators say the teenage girls are brought from city to city.More >>
A recent TBI investigation revealed a four-city child sex trafficking loop made up of Memphis, Nashville, Atlanta, and Birmingham.More >>
Thursday, July 31 2014 8:05 AM EDT2014-07-31 12:05:39 GMT
(WMC) – A Memphis Police Department car was involved in a crash that happened early Thursday morning. This happened just before 2 a.m. at E. H. Crump Boulevard and Danny Thomas Boulevard. The crash knockedMore >>
A Memphis Police Department car was involved in a crash that happened early Thursday morning.More >>
Thursday, July 31 2014 8:02 AM EDT2014-07-31 12:02:44 GMT
(WMC) - Two teenage sisters are in the hospital after reportedly being struck by a car as they crossed the street Tuesday night in Memphis. The accident took place at the intersection of Neely Road andMore >>
Two teenage sisters are in the hospital after reportedly being struck by a car as they crossed the street Tuesday night in Memphis.More >>
Wednesday, July 30 2014 9:12 PM EDT2014-07-31 01:12:13 GMT
The tattoo has not previously been seen widely by the public because cameras are not allowed inside Indiana courtrooms. The Indiana Office of the Courts released the photo on July 30 as part of evidence logged in by police and presented to the court by the Floyd County Prosecutor's Office.More >>
The tattoo has not previously been seen widely by the public because cameras are not allowed inside Indiana courtrooms. The Indiana Office of the Courts released the photo on July 30 as part of evidence logged in by police and presented to the court by the Floyd County Prosecutor's Office.
Thursday, July 31 2014 8:02 AM EDT2014-07-31 12:02:19 GMT
(WMC) - A new plan to serve as a "safety net" for City of Memphis employees and retirees rolled out during Tuesday's council health care oversight committee meeting. Their "Healthcare Assurance Plan"More >>
A new plan to serve as a "safety net" for City of Memphis employees and retirees rolled out during Tuesday's council health care oversight committee meeting.More >>