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Bartlett woman says she was wrongfully handcuffed by police

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A major misunderstanding in one Bartlett neighborhood turned into a traumatic night for a homeowner.

The mom said she was handcuffed in front of her children, 5 and 8, at night said a simple question could have stopped the confusion.

Johnny Byrd just moved into her neighborhood less than two weeks ago.

He said he was fine with his children taking their dog for a walk around 9:30 p.m. because it's so quiet. But, they ran into an issue.

"There were two raccoons in the side yard between our house and my neighbor's house, and my dog was attacked," Byrd said

When the kids started screaming, he grabbed a shovel and his wife's BB gun to try and fight off the raccoon.

But, another neighbor saw the incident differently.

"He thought we were having a domestic violence issue, so he called police and said there was a lady holding a gun on a man with a shovel in his cove," Byrd said.

Tawanda Cason described what happened next at her home across the street.

“Somebody was hollering, ‘Open the front door!’ so I went to the front door, opened it and I saw all these flashlights and people outside my door," Cason said.

She said about a dozen officers surrounded her home, banged on the windows and woke up her kids.

She never wanted them to see anything like what happened next.

"I walked on the porch and immediately was handcuffed," Cason said. "I just kept telling him it's the wrong house. It's the wrong house. He said, 'No, we confirmed.'"

After 15 minutes they let her go and apologized, she said. But she can't help but wonder how and why this happened.

"If you're searching for a white female, I'm clearly not her. I was immediately handcuffed." Cason said. "There's nothing they can do, because it's always going to be with me and my children."

"This lady is 5-foot-3, African-American. She's no match at all," Byrd said. "Traumatizing her family for no reason even over something that wasn’t real seems ridiculous."

They said they all hope police take responsibility and change the way they operate.

WREG contacted Bartlett Police to get their version of the story, but they called it an ongoing investigation and wouldn't comment. They wouldn't say if any officers were reprimanded for the incident.

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