MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis Police Union is going on the defensive by sending a letter to District Attorney Steve Mulroy, stating that he has overstepped his authority in declining to prosecute some offenders, including some who are accused of shooting at officers.
“We want him to prosecute the offenders against police officers with the same tenacity that he does any other,” said Matt Cunningham with the Memphis Police Association.
Mulroy says he’ll meet with the MPA to discuss their concerns, but there is more to the story.
The MPA cites the case of Charles Hernando Williams, who is accused of shooting two officers who stopped him.
“The victim officers in this case had never been contacted by the district attorney’s office and never been asked to appear in court to testify as to what they were victims of, or what they witnessed in their own shooting. So we felt like that was a problem,” said Cunningham.
Mulroy responded: “The defendant the letter refers to was indicted a week before the letter was sent. He remains in custody.
“We’re not suggesting anyone lied, and we understand how stressful incidents affect memory. But inconsistent statements have to be considered and acknowledged, along with officers failing to turn on body cams, being allowed to confer privately at the scene in violation of policy, etc. The public has a right to know these things. And as DA, I can’t ignore them.”
Then there is the case of Jaylin McKenzie, who fired his gun during a police chase. Officers shot and killed him.
Mulroy said the officers would not be charged. But the union says he went even further during a September press conference where he talked about policies the supervising officer who arrived on the scene didn’t follow in separating the officers who did the shooting.
“Instead, he deliberately placed them in the same patrol car by themselves for several hours. This allowed them to discuss the facts of the case together in violation of MPD policy,” said Mulroy, regarding the Jaylin McKenzie case.
Cunningham fired back by saying that it is not the district attorney’s purview or responsibility to review policy violations of police officers in the Memphis Police Department.
District Attorney Mulroy sent a statement in response to the police union’s concerns.
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Mulroy says he is happy to meet with the Police Association and listen to their concerns saying there is room for improvement and compromise.
WREG is not yet aware of when the D.A. and the Police Association plan to meet.