MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The arrest of former Memphis Police Officer Patric Ferguson for allegedly kidnapping a man from a Frayser neighborhood and shooting him while he sat in the back of his squad car has sent a shock throughout the community.
President of the Memphis Police Association Essica Cage says she and all Memphis officers feel betrayed and angry that a Memphis police officer allegedly committed these horrific acts.
She says the swift investigation by the Memphis Police Department should give Memphians some comfort.
“How much worse can it get?” said Cage.
Cage says her emotions ran from shock, to betrayal but one emotion stuck with her the most when she heard that Ferguson had been arrested for the kidnapping and murder of 30-year-old Robert Howard while on duty on Jan. 5.
“Anger is probably is the most emotion I felt,” said Cage. “Because it is a completely senseless crime done behind the color of the badge. Done in uniform, on duty.”
Ferguson was hired by MPD in 2018.
In recent years, community activists have been critical of the City of Memphis’s push to hire more officers, claiming the bar had been lowered to emphasize quantity over quality.
Cage says that was not the case with Ferguson.
“On paper, he was an ideal candidate,” she said. “He’s a college graduate of probably the best college here in Memphis. And he’s not been in any trouble before. Some things just can’t be predicted.”
Cage knows this incident will have a negative impact on the perception of Memphis police officers.
She says the quick and thorough investigation hopefully shows the community that the vast majority of Memphis police officers have a commitment to justice.
“If nothing else, you see that Memphis Police Department can investigate a crime regardless of who is the victim,” said Cage. “Regardless of who is the suspect. They will get to the bottom of what happened and probably especially because it was a Memphis police officer who was a suspect.”
Cage says her thoughts and prayers go out to Howard’s family.
Cage, who patrolled herself for nine years says officers are not required to do official check-ins while on patrol.
She says there is GPS tracking technology installed in the newer police vehicles.