Mayor reacts to beating at Criminal Justice Center - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Andrew Douglas

Mayor reacts to beating at Criminal Justice Center

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton says the jailhouse beat down crossed the line, even saying it was inhuman.

In an interview Thursday afternoon, Herenton said said he expects the law to come down on the officers involved.     

"I think it was horrible," Herenton said. "I mean, it was disgusting." 
Herenton was sounding off on a brutal beat down captured on surveillance video. It showed a Memphis police officer repeatedly punching Duanna Johnson, a transgendered woman. She was beaten and sprayed with mace while waiting to be booked on a prostitution charge.

"(It) shouldn't be tolerated, and all the parties involved should receive appropriate punishment," Herenton said.

One of the officers, James Swain, was immediately fired when it happened back in February. The other, Bridges McRae, has been on desk duty while he waits a hearing next week that will determine his fate.

"Whatever penalties our system provides or the legal system, they will be implemented," Herenton said.       
Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin got the Feds involved after he watched the video.

"After viewing it I contacted My (Harrison) at the FBI. I asked her to come over. She brought her team over," Godwin said.

Johnson plans on filing suit against the Memphis Police Department that includes a violation of her civil rights.

"Well I expected that. I mean, you saw it. It appears as if some human rights were violated," Herenton said.      

Click here to e-mail Andrew Douglas.

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