MPD opens internal investigation after bloody arrest caught on camera

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — An internal investigation is underway after video of an encounter between a young adult and officers was caught on camera.

“We are aware of the snippets of videos that have been posted on Facebook concerning this arrest,” the Memphis Police Department said in a statement. “An internal investigation has been opened into this matter and we are currently gathering all video available to MPD in order to review the incident in its entirety. Once additional information becomes available, we will provide an update.”

The video going around the Internet appears to show a 19-year-old being arrested Tuesday around 5 p.m. One officer, then a few more, try to bring her to the patrol car.

“Why does it take three men to handle a female like that? No,” said one bus rider we showed the video to on Wednesday.

The video doesn’t show the entire situation, but it does appear to show a struggle between the woman and police before ending in blood.

Police say the woman in the video, Breanna Belem, was arrested and charged with assault, criminal trespass, disorderly conduct, escape from misdemeanor incarceration and unlawful possession of a weapon.

According to MATA, Belem was “placed on an Authorization of Agency list due to past conduct issues at the Hudson Transit Center.”

WREG discovered she was banned from MATA premises beginning in 2015 for three separate incidents primarily involving fighting.

On Tuesday, authorities were called to the MATA station after receiving complaints of disorderly individuals. They were also told the young adult was back on the premises despite being banned.

When they arrived, Belem reportedly swore at officers and resisted arrest, which led them to use soft-hand techniques to take her into custody.

What the video doesn’t show is when officers say Belem manipulated the handcuffs and escaped from the squad car, sending officers running after her. The report stated an officer bumped the suspect as he chased her, causing her to hit a wet floor sign and hit her head on the side of the building.

You can see the floor is wet in the video.

Authorities also discovered a 12″ steak knife in the woman’s waistband.

According to MATA, a second suspect was also taken into custody following the incident.

Here is company’s full statement:

“In an effort to promote the safety of our customers and our employees, MATA established a Customer Code of Conduct in 2014. It is MATA’s goal to always provide reliable and safe transportation services on our vehicles as well as at our transit centers or any MATA property. For those individuals who cannot conduct themselves appropriately and who become disruptive repeatedly, MATA places them on an Authorization of Agency list that is shared with law enforcement agencies. However, this does not prevent these individuals from riding on our vehicles.

As for the incident that occurred yesterday, it is our understanding that the MPD is actively investigating the matter and we cannot comment on their active investigation.”


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