“What to Do If You’re Stopped By The Police” Pamphlet Causing Stir

(Memphis) Less than a week after Memphis police officer Martoiya Lang was shot and killed, the association that represents officers is livid about a brochure being distributed with Mayor A C Wharton’s name attached.

“This is a document created by the city,” said Officer Mike Williams, Memphis Police Association.

The two page brochure is causing quite a stir among Memphis police.

“First of all, they feel like the administration does not support them. Okay, number one. Second of all, they feel like the administration is making their jobs harder,” said Williams.

Here’s what Williams says officers are so upset about.

If you’re stopped in your car, the pamphlet says to protect yourself later, you should make it clear that you do not consent to a search.

It’s not lawful for police to arrest you simply for refusing to consent to a search.

If you’re arrested or taken to a police station it also states what to do.

Williams read what it says to us, “This is what the document says. ‘Don’t give any explanation, excuses or stories. You can make your defense later in court based on what you and your lawyer decide is best.’ Tell the police nothing. Nothing! Except your name and address,” said Williams as he shook his head.

Williams says citizens talking to police are how they develop suspects.

It is how they find evidence like drugs.

He’s worried this pamphlet will hurt them when it comes to fighting crime in the city.

“If you put in the context of these are your rights, that’s fine but you as the civilian review board or the mayor shouldn’t be saying, don’t agree to it. That’s where you draw the line,” said Williams.

Mayor Wharton’s office says this document was developed by the Civilian Law Enforcement Review Board under Mayor Herenton.

That review board hasn’t been active for a couple of years.  

Chief of Staff, Bobby White, sent News Channel 3 the original document with Herenton’s name on it.

He said Wharton did not authorize the placement of his name on the flyer and he has asked for an investigation.

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