MPD officers order woman to stop recording video, violating new policy

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Click HERE to read the MPD policy

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A freelance journalist plans to file a lawsuit against Memphis Police for violating her First Amendment rights.

Deborah Robinson was traveling to Memphis to meet with a client.

She says she’s also working on a story regarding drug trafficking on buses.

Robinson arrived in Memphis as police were making a drug arrest on her very bus.

She said she grabbed her camera to record the incident, but officers stepped in and demanded she stop recording video.

The act is in violation of Police Director Toney Armstrong’s new policy giving officers specific instructions not to stop anyone from recording video.

The policy was enacted after several complaints from Memphis residents saying officers were abusing their power and threatening citizens who tried to document it and demanded action.

Robinson says she was ordered to stop recording, show press credentials, and was physically detained, which are all violations of the police.

Robinson stated officers also refused to let her leave the area until she spoke with Alyssa Macon-Moore on the police director’s staff.

She says Macon-Moore also wanted to know who she was, and why she was recording video.

Robinson plans to sue the city in hopes that changes are made to truly protect First Amendment rights in the city.

The mayor and police director were both reportedly out of town and unable to address the situation until tomorrow.

You can read her Robinson’s version of the incident here.


  • Peter Ruleman

    I don’t think this is a “new policy.” Everywhere in America it is legal, and encouraged, to videotape or record officers at work. It’s vital to make sure that the people protecting our rights and freedoms are doing their job correctly. Afterall, they are public servants, and as the public, we have the right to make sure they are serving correctly.

  • Cocknozzle

    I side with the journalist that officers can be recorded doing their jobs in public as anyone can. What I don’t want to see is another outrageously large lawsuit taking money from our city coffers. Fire or suspend the offending officers without pay and maybe the rest of the MPD will take notice that Memphis citizens and visitors know their rights and expect them to be honored.

    • ChrislikesCockGoo&packinfudge

      Cocknozzle watch out Chris will be hitting on you with that name. He’s a Flamer

  • Hard Truths

    Just weeks ago, Police Director Toney Armstrong issued a directive that MPD was to obey the law and the Constitution — and not interfere with people videotaping their activities. If somebody doesn’t get some serious time off for this latest episode, Armstrong is nothing but a cardboard mannequin. AC too.

    As for our Attorney General, Amy Weirich, said — a few months ago — that “people should mind their own business” — and she had NOTHING to say about our constitutional right to videotape the cops.

    I’m not voting for a DA who does not support and defend the Constitution.

    None of us should. I don’t care who the alternative is.

    • bambam84

      Cops in Memphis getting serious time for violating company policy? They’ll get suspended without pay for a week, MAYBE put through psych training for a few weeks (doubtful), and transferred to a different department (in or out of city.)
      And why the hell are they demanding credentials? ANYBODY can record. Not just journalists. This won’t be the last incident of this type for a while now. They have to let it “sink in.” Smh.

  • Hard Truths

    We need CIVILIAN control over the Memphis police force. Those people are taking the law into their own hands and making it up as they go along. Bunch of Ton Ton Macoutes.

  • Adios

    Let me arrest your mouth and lock it shut. You seem to be a loser at life with nothing better to do than project your baboonishness onto others.

  • blahblah

    If this “journalist” was planning on using this video for her story, wouldn’t she need permission for those she taped to use their likeness?

  • John warren

    You do not have RIGHTS when dealing with MPD or any one in law enforcement, and there is know recourse for you to take because MPD or any law enforcement or justified in any action they take right or wrong just watch and see the out come of this.

  • John warren

    You do not have RIGHTS when dealing with MPD or any one in law “ENFORCEMENT”, and there is know recourse for you to take because MPD or any law “ENFORCEMENT” or justified in any action they take right or wrong just watch and see the out come of this.
    You should fill Grateful that they or serving you people who or beneath they.

  • SpeakTheTruth

    I’m so happy this journalist exposed the barbaric, slave master/overseer, unprofessional tactics of MPD & the OCU Organized Crime. It’s a known that fact that MPD shift supervisors give the green light to literally basic patrolmen to “Go Out & Bust A MF Head If You Have, 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. 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 look they a#% up for disorderly conduct, let the court 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 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 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.

  • candi

    Hi way to go journalist!!! Expose these crooks maybe more people will stand up. To the idiot above -Adios you are an IGNORANT SIMPLE FOOL WHO DESERVES NO ATTENTION GO AND KILL YOURSELF

  • candi


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