MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Memphis police officer is the focus of an internal investigation after video captures him punching a man.
According to the Memphis Police Department, MPD received a video of the incident Thursday near 100 Union Ave. in which two downtown security guards and two MPD officers were arresting a man. MPD says the video did not capture the entire incident, but it does show one of the officers repeatedly punching the man.
According to a report, the man spit in the officer’s face.
MPD says the man has not filed a complaint against the officer, but Director of Police Services Michael Rallings has asked MPD’s Inspectional Services Bureau to open an administrative investigation.
The incident was also captured on body camera, which ISB is currently reviewing in addition to the video sent to MPD. MPD did not release that video but a viewer shared it with WMC Action News 5 and police confirm it’s the same video they received.
Investigators are also checking for additional video that may be available from the area where the incident occurred.
“In incidents such as this, I will not wait for a complainant to come forward. Officers of the Memphis Police Department are expected to remain professional and work toward building the trust of our citizens. If it is found that this officer violated policy, corrective actions will be taken,” said Director Michael Rallings.
MPD has not identified the man on the video, but a police affidavit says 28-year-old Yasin Bashir was arrested shortly after 6 p.m. outside the Peabody Hotel for simple assault.
According to a police report obtained by WMC Action News 5, MPD identifies the officer as Michael Tippett.
According to the report, someone called police after seeing Bashir aggressively panhandling and urinating on the street. When a Downtown Memphis Commission officer escorted Bashir away, the report says Bashir charged the guard and the two wrestled.
The police report says MPD Officer Michael Tippett approached to help and when lifting Bashir off the ground Bashir spat in officer’s face.
According to the report, the “officer used hard empty hands to take suspect down.” Paramedics were called but the report says “no injuries to victims.”
Bashir was arrested for simple assault and taken to the hospital to be cleared before being booked into jail.