MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis police confirm that in the wake of another officer arrest, 20 MPD officers have been arrested between March 2, 2014, and March 2, 2015.
MPD could not immediately report what charges all 20 arrested officers are facing, but a spokesperson said WREG may formally request that information.
Officer Derrick Abdul-Wakil is accused of solicitation sexual exploitation of a minor. MPD said he allegedly touched himself and a 14-year-old girl while he was giving her a ride. He reportedly had a jacket over his lap.
“He had touched my thigh, and he tried to touch my face to look in my eyes and stuff, and I didn’t look at him period, because I saw what he was doing, and I didn’t want to look that way,” the victim told WREG.
Abdul-Wakil is the fourth MPD officer arrested so far in 2015. Michael McCord is being investigated for alleged embezzlement, Brandon Brown was arrested for alleged DUI, and David Meskenas was arrested for allegedly pointing a gun at a motorist.
MPD said 17 officers are currently on “relieved of duty” status, which means they are suspended.
Police Director Toney Armstrong was not in town Monday but issued the following statement: “We will continue to do what I have always said we will do. We will take all criminal allegations seriously. Being a police officer will not exempt you from following the same laws that we require our citizens to follow.”
Several people around Memphis told WREG they would like to see additional steps taken to prevent these kinds of problems, though no one was certain what changes are necessary.
“Businesses do it. You know, churches do it,” one woman said.