Officer Schilling retirement sparks concern

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Memphis Police officer Conner Schilling retired with lifetime disability benefits today, and dodged an internal investigation by MPD.

The administration was trying to determine whether Schilling violated any department policies when he shot and killed 19-year-old Darrius Stewart last July during a traffic stop and struggle.

Schilling retired with line of duty disability payments, meaning he'll get more than $2,000 a month and healthcare benefits for the rest of his life.

Two doctors said Schilling has post traumatic stress disorder after shooting and killing Stewart.

Attorneys and civil rights activists are raising concern over whether the pension board acted too soon, and others could exploit the rules to get a pass.

"Right now, the law says if they get two doctors to agree they are disabled, they are automatically locked in to this disability pension," said Mayor Jim Strickland.

He admits the city needs to look at its pension policy.

"I'm an advocate in trying to change those pension laws," said Strickland.

It's the timing though that has many concerned.

While Schilling was never criminally charged, he was under review by his department and could have faced termination if he violated any policies.

Today, the Memphis branch of the NAACP said the pension board acted too soon, and they "are hopeful that the seriousness of PTSD would never be used in a manner that may be perceived as a strategy for circumventing the cause of justice and fairness."

Stewart's attorneys agree.

"A simple determination by the Memphis Police Department that he was acting outside the scope of the performance of his duties or a simple determination he wasn't acting for the city, would have deleted his opportunity to use that system at all," said Stewart's attorney Murray Wells.

The police Union said more and more officers are suffering from PTSD. It's a serious problem.

To get disability though, an officer has to be injured on the job.

Not to mention, everything has to be documented, and the doctors have to be approved by the city.

The Department of Justice is still reviewing the case, but whatever they determine won't affect Schilling's disability

WREG is working to uncover the internal investigation documents that would have been used in Schilling's administrative hearing.

Despite repeated communication with MPD and the mayor's office.

As of now, it's still unclear when or if those records will be available.

We will continue to dig for answers

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