Police director responds to possible violation of cellphone policy

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.

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