MEMPHIS, Tenn. — About a dozen demonstrators gathered outside Memphis City Hall on Thursday afternoon to demand that Memphis police remove a Frayser man’s name from a so-called “hazard list” — a list MPD denies exists.
“I think everyone should care about this because the Memphis Police Department is about as transparent as mud,” said demonstrator Meaghan Ybos.
Reginald Johnson believes he was put on a “hazard list” last year when he filed an internal affairs complaint against an MPD officer responding to Johnson’s home after Johnson called for help.
“The list is just to keep me quiet because I was outspoken and I just felt like they wasn’t doing enough,” said Johnson.
While MPD denies it keeps a “hazard list,” in an email to WREG, the department said it does sometimes flag locations as hazards.
“Hazards are placed on locations were [sic] an officer has experienced some type of incident which has been identified as a possible hazard for officers. A few examples: locations where prior barricade situations have occurred, violent and/or combative mental consumers, a combative party, someone who has fought with officers, etc,” the email reads.
Activists were adamant Thursday about their belief that MPD is keeping a list and they’re demanding that MPD take Johnson’s name off of it, stop identifying his house as a “hazard,” and release the reasons it would keep a list.
Since filing the internal affairs complaint and allegedly being put on a “hazard list,” Paul Garner of the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center said Johnson has had to live in fear.
“Four squad cars with lights blazing arrived in front of his home while one officer took a simple accident report,” said Garner. “He’s also experienced police cars driving slowly by his home at night shining lights through his windows.”
“That would put me in constant fear. I imagine that would be traumatic,” said Hensley.
It was so traumatic for Johnson, he says he’s given up on police altogether.
“I got cameras around my house and if I see anything going on I do not call the police,” he said.