Mother presses Memphis Police for answers after son’s death in crash

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A mother wants to know the truth about her son's fatal car accident following a police stop in Frayser last month.

Rosie Henson-Pharr says what police first told her doesn't add up, and now she says police have stopped talking.

Derrecas Henson's life ended Feb. 17 in a single-car crash  on Range Line Road.

It was shortly after 8 p.m. when Henson was apparently pulled over by Memphis police. Why, and what happened next, is unknown.

The police report the family obtained says officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop at Range Line Road and St. Elmo. They say as the officers exited their marked squad car, the driver, later identified as Henson, took off at a high rate of speed.

A few blocks away, the blue four-door Chevy that Henson was driving slammed into a pole, killing him. The police report that the family got clearly says, "Officers did not pursue the vehicle," and turned off their lights.

Henson's family wasn't buying it. They combed the Frayser neighborhood looking for video from that night. But the wreck was so bad, it knocked out power in the area, including for surveillance video recordings.

But one neighbor's camera caught something at 8:02 p.m., just minutes after police say they pulled over the driver. It shows a car flying past, and Henson's family says it was his.

Seconds later, another vehicle that appears to be a squad car with lights flashing can be seen. Henson's family says it's clear that the police were chasing him.

His family took the video to police and even Internal Affairs.

Henson's mother says they heard nothing for weeks. But on Thursday, she says she got an email from a lieutenant saying they would look at the video and report for inconsistencies.

Henson's mother says there is still no explanation of why her son was stopped in the first place.

Police later said he had warrants, but she wonders how they knew that if they never talked to him or got his license. She also says Henson was driving someone else's car.

The Hensons say several polices seem to have been violated, including alerting superiors or dispatch prior to a pursuit. They want to see the dash cam video, if there is any.

The police report the family got is no longer available to the media.

We contacted Memphis Police about the discrepancies in this case, but have not heard back.

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