Memphis man says he was falsely arrested, car towed

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SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. -- Imagine being wrongly arrested and then having to pay for it with your time and money. That's what one Memphis man says happened to him, and he's not alone.

It's another complaint stemming from the county's new court and jail system.

Antonio Johnson said he didn't know you couldn't be in city parks after midnight, so when he parked in one off Auburn Road this week, he was surprised to see flashing lights behind him.

"The officers pulled up," said Johnson. "They questioned me, they asked me what I was doing. They asked me for my ID and everything."

He figured he'd get a slap on the wrist, but instead officers said they had to take him downtown on an active warrant in their system.

Johnson said he pulled out paperwork showing he took care of it last week.

"[The officer] said, 'You could've made a print out' and I said, 'But there's a seal on the paper, why would they give me a paper with a seal on it?'" said Johnson. "That doesn't even make sense."

What else didn't make sense was the conditions he saw when he got to jail.

"I mean it was just a big inconvenience and when I got down to 201, when I walked into intake where you use the phone, there were people sleeping on the floor," he said.

It's a story we've heard many times recently as Shelby County switches over to a new court and jail system.

Not only did Johnson say he had to miss a day of work to handle this, they also towed his car, costing him money to get it back.

"I'm outraged [and] mad," he said. "It's already hard enough. Don't make it harder than what it is."

The system currently shows he was arrested yesterday, which seems to be another glitch.

Johnson just hopes others can use his story as a reason to check on loved ones you may be surprised to find behind bars.

WREG reached out to Memphis police to get their side of this arrest, but did not hear back.

We still haven't been told when the new system will be running the way it should be.


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