MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Members of the Memphis City Council got their monthly crime update from MPD on Tuesday and it included an update on an injured police officer.
Tuesday’s meeting started with Members of the council offering their prayers for a Memphis Police officer who was shot in the line of duty Monday night.
“I would like to first acknowledge the officer that was shot last night. Chief Davis we would like to extend our thoughts and prayers for their recovery,” Councilwoman Rhonda Logan said.
Memphis Police Chief C.J. Davis told members the officer is expected to be okay and should be released from the hospital today.
“We’re just prayerfully that he continues to even mentally get past this situation,” Chief Davis said.
Memphis Police on Tuesday identified the man who was shot to death as James West Jr., 39, of Sarah, Mississippi.
Officers were called to a gas station on Winchester in Southeast Memphis regarding a suspicious vehicle. When the officer tried to approach the vehicle, the TBI says shots were fired by the suspect and the officer.
Both were hit during the exchange. Chief C.J. Davis says the officer was shot at least twice.
“You just never know what you are going to be faced with and that is why we try to make sure that they are trained and prepared. At the same time, our focus is always to protect the public and ensure that dangerous individuals are not on our streets,” Chief Davis said.
Davis said looking for criminals in high-crime areas is something her officers will continue to do despite a report presented at Tuesday’s meeting by Decarcerate Memphis that shows MPD officers pull over and write citations to low-income drivers in minority neighborhoods at a higher rate than their white counterparts.
“I am going to be honest, as an African American female in a city that is predominately black and we talk about crime, our crime is nestled in certain communities. Unfortunately, we have to find a way to ensure we have balance and we are not targeting individuals but we are protecting the public at large,” Chief Davis said.
Chief Davis said for the officers that are out on patrol, their main focus is to protect the public against road rage, reckless driving, and overall violent crimes.
The TBI said agents will continue to gather evidence and release more information soon.