Civil rights group wants federal government to take over MPD

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A civil rights group accuses Memphis police officers of pulling women over for no reason and sexually assaulting them.

The group is quick to say a vast majority of cops do a good job, but it also has 200 complaints accusing officers of targeting poor neighborhoods.

WREG contacted MPD several times, but no one agreed to talk with us in person or on the phone.

All they are telling WREG is they don't know about the allegations.

Several women told WREG they've told MPD about the attacks.

"He was trying to touch all over me. He put his hands between my legs," a 16-year-old girl said.

WREG is keeping her identity hidden. The teen said she was with her mother in Frayser when a MPD officer pulled their car over and put her in his car.

"He was trying to touch my breasts and put his hands between my legs," she said. "I tried to fight him off."

She said when her mom noticed what was going on, he let them go and drove off.

They reported it to Memphis Police, but were never told if they found out who did it.

"Ever since Toney Armstrong became police chief, it's been hell in this city," said Pastor Wendol Lee with Operation Help Civil Rights Group.

Lee said that is just one of hundreds of horrifying stories their organization has heard.

In a stack of complaints he showed WREG, some women said officers were too aggressive. Some accused officers off forcing them to have sex.

Lee even showed us lawsuits against officers filed in federal court.

While MPD said Wednesday was the first time they've heard about the complaints, Lee said he's been filing reports with MPD, and even the district attorney, for the last year.

Since nothing was done, he went to Washington, D.C., demanding the Department of Justice step in.

"We go to Washington, D.C., and demand they take over or either you all do something about that police department," said Lee.

Lee admits not every officer with MPD is bad, and said, "I'm not against officers. I'm against crooked officers."

He said this is a small group ruining the image of the city and the innocence of women.

"Just please get rid of the bad police in Memphis," said the 16-year-old girl.

WREG contacted the federal agent Lee spoke to, but we're told he is out of town until Thursday.

Lee plans on going back to D.C. next month with all of the people who've filed complaints.


    • Laterrica H.

      Keep the mission going Rev. Wendol Lee. Give me your address and I will send you a check as soon as I get paid. God is good. My sister and auntie plan to donate too.

  • louise barnett

    oh yea, that is a great solution! look at all the great work the federal govt has done for this country in the last fifty plus yrs. you have got to be kidding , right?

  • Don

    Lee plans on going back to D.C. next month with all of the people who’ve filed complaints.
    I would also go to the Tennessee Governor and tell him what is going on, Maybe he would get you some help by turning it over to them.
    Good Luck.

  • Terrie

    He’s not taking ‘everybody’ that tiled. Its not possible. Over 200 complaints filed. Please. Get rid of Armstrong.

  • Jimmy

    Makes ya proud to be from Memphis do it not? This preacher is doing it for the money…get them folks riled up and see your donations in yo collection plate get all bigger. “Gawd is good my brothers and sisters…Dig Deep into yo pockets to ” fund ” our trip to the nations capital. We will not be denied, Justice!!”

    Sadly, the black sheep will donate and the ” man o f God” will laugh all the way to the bank .
    You cannot fix stupid.

  • Ricky

    Let’s do one better. Let’s bring in the federal boys and institute Martial Law and take this city back from the robbin’, rapin’, thievin’ democrats!!

  • Russ goforth

    Mps doesn’t need the federal gov. to step in the people need the military to come in and handle the abundance of street thugs

    • Dr. JohnS

      Sorry but the military is forbidden to turn on US citizens. That is why we have the National Guard in all states. The governor would have to call them in.

  • Shellia Ross

    JIMMY get your head out the clouds this not about money, this is about the TROUBLE with MPD, and getting help for these young women. Well if this not about helping the PROBLEM, then why are you not helping. If not close your

  • Hard Truths

    MPD certainly needs a federal court-appointed monitor. Oakland, CA police got so bad one was installed and is still monitoring the force, hour by hour, day by day.

    Toney Armstrong and A C Wharton are simply not strong enough to provide the adult supervision that our little stormtroopers need.

    And yes, look around you at the city that King Willie built.

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