TBI taking over MPD officer involved shooting

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. –- When WREG spoke with witnesses, you could hear the panic in their voices.

Witnesses shot cellphone video while they watched the officer wrestle Darrius Stewart to the ground.

Police said Stewart attacked the officer and beat him with handcuffs.

That's when the officer shot him.

Stewart died later that night.

“I'm aware this incident is on the forefront of media coverage," Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said on Monday.  "I'm equally aware on the sentiment and appearance of this shooting when a Caucasian police officer shoots and kills an African America male.”

Stewart was said to be wanted on two warrants.

One was for a sex offense in Iowa, while the other was for failure to appear in court in Illinois.

The officer who shot him was placed on leave pending the outcome of an investigation.

In the meantime, the District Attorney's Office has remained silent and handed it off to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

“We must respect the laws of the state of Tennessee, the ethical responsibilities of prosecutors and just as importantly the integrity of this investigation," Amy Weirich explained.

But the way the law was written years ago, we may never learn the details of what happened that night.

The TBI doesn't have to release any information.

Last year, State Representative John Deberry said he'd propose a new law forcing the TBI to be more transparent to the public, but never did.

He said next year's session would be different.

“Years ago people pretty much stayed in their place. They didn't ask a whole lot of questions. If the authorities said it, it was so.  You kind of accepted it,” Deberry explained, “You don't fight City Hall. You don't rock the boat. You don't shake the tree. That's kind of not the way society is right now.”

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