Police director responds to possible violation of cellphone policy

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Memphis Police created a new policy to stop officers from demanding citizens stop video recording of them while on scenes. This came last year after several complaints.

We looked into why it's still happening and what police are doing about it.

MPD told WREG it's reminding officers about policy and procedure letting you record cell phone video.

This action comes after officers demanded a freelance journalist stop recording them on a recent drug bust.

In the video, you can hear police repeatedly questioning her. It's something their new policy says they're not supposed to do.

One officer even threatened to arrest her if she doesn't stop recording.

You can hear an officer say, "Hey, ma'am, can you put the camera down please?"

She responds, "I'm a journalist, I can use my camera, I'm not interfering. I have a right."

After several complaints by the public and weeks of questioning by WREG, Director Toney Armstrong put out a policy last December.

It clearly tells officers not to ask for I.D. of people recording.

Friday, he released this statement:

"I can not comment on an active investigation. However, I can advise that our Inspectional Services Bureau is conducting a thorough and impartial investigation into the allegations of a potential policy violation. Should the investigation determine that these officers have violated policy, the appropriate corrective action will be administered.”

The director's office also told us this is the first known complaint since the policy started last December.


  • Wake Up

    I love to rain on the police but Memphis cops on the whole are better than other jurisdictions I’ve lived in. This policy will improve it further.


    I’m so happy this journalist exposed the barbaric, slave master/overseer, unprofessional tactics of MPD & the OCU Organized Crime Unit. It’s a known fact that MPD shift supervisors give the green light to literally basic patrolmen to “Go Out & Bust A MF Head If You Have To, These Fools Don’t Know S#(# Anyway, But It’s Your A## If You Get In Trouble” This is spoken freely before officers even hit the streets from roll call. The serious part is that it’s black officers violating the civil rights of black citizens in Memphis. It’s taught that “If a person acts like they know their rights, or the law ,or question your authority lock their A%# up for disorderly conduct, let the courts figure it out for their smart a#%” This is factual. The officers that are acting in this manner are rookie or low tenured patrol men that are Black & trying to prove a point in the communities they lived in but were afraid to get involved in. These officers are the first ones literally crying, begging, pleading to the review board at the academy in Millington when they have to speak for themselves & their senior superior officers look at them as their stupid. The senior officers, Armstrong, AC main priority is providing for themselves & their families. They really don’t care what these stupid officers are doing until its affecting their paychecks, tourism, or white people or black money start complaining. Its known that officers black officers through black juveniles over apartment balconies, place guns /their service weapon in the mouths of detainees. Physical police brutality is a norm & if you dont beat a black man then you’re not trusted by your fellow officers. Im so happy this journalist exposed this system of no accountability. I pray she doesn’t let it be swept under the rug, because many more citizens need to make complaints to Internal Affairs on these corrupt officers because they are making it hard for the good officers. You can record! Praying for this declining city,because if these officers/ organized gang members are not controlled the force & the city will continue to suffer.

  • John warren

    Inspectional Services Bureau is conducting a thorough and partial investigation into the allegations of a potential policy violation. Should the investigation determine that these officers have violated policy, we will not be speaking about it.

    • Hard Truths

      If you believe that Internal Affairs at MPD is impartial or honest, you are REALLY naive.

      All they do his coach the offending cop to get his story straight. We need an INDEPENDENT Citizens Review Board, and we REALLY need a federal monitor to take over control of the Memphis Police Department, as has happened in Oakland, CA.

      It is foolhardy to expect the police to police themselves. We cannot trust them. Nor can we trust holster-sniffer Amy Weirich, who is totally in the police’s pocket, er, holster.

  • hank wesson

    this is a good policy put in place by Directer Armstrong so now evwrybody is going want to jump on the bandwagon lets hope that there are no regrets

  • Hard Truths

    If Armstrong does not impose significant discipline, then we cannot say we have the rule of law in Memphis.

    The police are out of control, on a rampage. They need a HARD SHOCK.

    All of them,. They need a real attitude adjustment, at the most fundamental level.

  • Don

    I would think recording the police would help the people understand what the officers have to put up with when on a contact with a suspect.
    Check out Utube and see how the police have to put up with.
    The thugs don’t have rules, police do.

    • Hard Truths

      Then the police should FOLLOW those rules. They are being paid OUR TAX DOLLARS to follow the rules, to follow the laws — and the Constutution of the United States — and not to behave like lawless thugs.

      Also, the police need to learn some basic civility toward law-abiding, taxpaying citizens.

      We are paying for a POLICE FORCE, not the Ton Ton Macoutes. We need to fire ALL the Ton Ton Macoutes on the police force. NOW.

  • Hard Truths

    If significant discipline is not imposed on the law-breaking cops in this case, then that is proof that Director Armstrong and Mayor AC Wharton are cardboard cutouts, not leaders, and that we are living in a police state.

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