(Memphis) A deadly crash involving a Memphis police officer has sparked a one man protest at the location where a mother and daughter died.
Three others were injured in the crash, including the police officer.
The 23-year-old officer is at home, relieved of duty with pay, while the investigation is completed.
There are some who believe he is getting special treatment even though the department is following policy.
One man is trying to change that.
The sound of Kennith Van Buren’s whistle could be heard throughout a small area of South Memphis.
His presence drew curious on lookers.
One person asked, “What happened?”
The intersection where Crump, Georgia and Walnut meet is where 23-year-old Memphis police officer Alex Beard drove through without his blue lights and siren.
His car collided with another killing Deloise Epps and her 13-year-old daughter, Mackala.
That’s where Van Buren of Direct Action, Inc., stood for three hours today in the blazing heat.
Van Buren told one man, “I’m trying to get you to sign a petition for that police officer that killed those people here. We’re trying to get a petition started.”
The Tennessee Highway Patrol is investigating, but Van Buren believes he should be charged in the crash anyway, “If this was an average citizen, he would be sitting in jail right now. That police officer is at home getting paid.”
That’s not necessarily true, as most people are released while an investigation is done.
Van Buren organized a protest but he was the only one who showed, so he used his whistle to get attention and signatures.
Among those stopping to sign was Lee Jones who was at the intersection the afternoon of the crash, “When I looked up, it was like a bunch of smoke in the sky. But it was glass it was that much of an impact.”
He and the people with him stopped to help the victims.
He says they tried to tell investigators what they saw, but no officer wanted to hear what they had to say.
He hopes Van Buren has better luck, “It’s him versus the police department. They are going to do everything in their power to protect their own officer. I guess the only thing he does have is the petition.”
Van Buren says he’ll present a copy of the petition to Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong and the TBI.
He wants the TBI to investigate a possible cover-up.