Memphis officer sues, claiming city violated his civil rights

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Memphis Police Department patrol car

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis police officer has filed a $3 million lawsuit against the city, claiming his supervisor and others violated his civil rights.

According to the lawsuit filed on behalf of Officer Marc Henderson, he was having problems in his marriage between May and November 2018. During that time, his wife became close friends with his supervisor Col. Darrell Sheffield's wife.

Darrell Sheffield

He claimed his wife would call Sheffield's wife to talk about him and sometimes would even appear at the precinct where she would "pour out her concerns" to Sheffield.

At some point, Sheffield allegedly suggested that Henderson might be depressed or even suicidal. He said he denied that to his supervisor.

According to the lawsuit, Sheffield “expressly ordered Henderson to cooperate with his wife, and to ‘do as she wanted.’”

In November, two other officers reportedly tried to convince Henderson the get help "for his own good" as well.

Around that same time, the plaintiff claims he was forced into driving with an officer to Lakeside to seek treatment. He never saw a doctor and eventually called for an officer to come get him.

When he arrived back at the precinct, he said he initially was not allowed out of the car. He was then taken into custody and reportedly told that he was being committed to the Memphis Mental Health Institute.

Officers dropped him off at that location, but he was released about five hours later.

Henderson said after learning about his release, Sheffield ordered several officers  to go check on him at his home.

In the lawsuit, Henderson says the colonel wanted to force his own officer to go along with his wife’s wishes in a divorce.

As a result of these actions, the lawsuit claims Henderson can no longer trust his co-workers, his reputation was injured, his marriage was damaged and his personal relationships have been "invaded."

Henderson has been with the department since 2011, according to the lawsuit.

WREG put in requests for the personnel files of all officers implicated in this lawsuit.

We also wanted to speak with Henderson, but he declined Thursday to do an interview because he’s still serving as an MPD officer and that would go against department policy.

We also contacted Sheffield directly for a response but did not hear back.

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