FOX13 Investigates examined the use of excessive force by the Memphis Police Department. New data shows the number of cases of excessive force has remained about the same over the past three years. The reporting of those cases is being questioned by a civil rights attorney and activists involved in recent protests.
According to Memphis Police, the number of complaints about excessive force peaked at 55 in 2016 and have dropped to 36 in 2017, 37 in 2018, and 39 in 2019.
The number of complaints by citizens has dropped as well. According to Memphis Police, there were 622 complaints to internal affairs. The number of complaints jumped to 751 in 2018 and then dropped to 656 in 2019, according to data provided by Memphis Police.
“I do applaud their efforts, but I would like to see it with some more meat particularly with the reformation of the police department,” Al Lewis, Memphis Coalition of Concerned Citizens founding member. “That will be only way they’ll have a chance of getting some transparency and some accountability.”
In addition to the “8 Can’t Wait” suggestions, he wants city leaders to take a closer look at other police tactics.
“I wish they would also take a look at the setup that police use to justify some of their tactics, such as bending a person’s wrist to the point where they, the body automatically resists, and they are beginning shout stop resisting, stop resisting,” Lewis said.
Lewis believes true reform starts with dissolving the Memphis Police Department.
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