MPD Officers Accused Of Confiscating Phones, Erasing Video

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(Memphis) Memphis Police officers are accused of trying to stop people from recording their actions.

"I had the phone out like this, and I told them I am recording," said Brandon Sails. "He grabbed me, slammed me on the police cruiser a few times or whatever and put me in handcuffs."

Sails said by pressing record on his cellphone, he was locked up for disorderly conduct.

Sails said he was using his cellphone video to record officers excessively kicking and beating his neighbor last week in Eden Point Apartments.

"Before he sits me in the car, they take my phone," said Sails.

He said when he got his phone back, the video was gone.

Days later, police responded to a noise complaint at a downtown hip-hop gathering.

People who were holding their cellphones, claim officers tried to stop them from recording the chaos.

"My legal advisors and I were talking just prior to you coming in here, we have to find and research if there is a case-law out there," said MPD Director Toney Armstrong.

Armstrong wouldn't say if officers are in the wrong.

Mayor A C Wharton said if it's true, he's outraged.

"Unacceptable. Just point-blank," said Wharton.

The mayor's son, Attorney Alexander Wharton, said it's your constitutional right to record and report officer conduct.

"In Memphis, there are no laws or ordinances that say it's prohibited," said Alexander Wharton.

As for Sails, he said he served 24 hours in jail for holding police accountable.

"The reason they took my phone was to cover up on their behalf, because they weren't following procedures," said Sails.


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