Viral video adds fuel to body camera debate

Viral video adds fuel to body camera debate

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A video of police arresting a man in South Memphis went viral with some viewers claiming it showed officers using unnecessary and too much force.

Memphis Police said the video is “difficult to see what is actually occurring while the officers are attempting to effect an arrest.

Activists said this was just another reason why body cameras were needed in Memphis.

“Had him on the ground. Police choke-hold. My nephew was yelling stop he has asthma,” said Daffney Howell.

Across the street was as close as she could get to hit record.

She said neighbors could only watch as two MPD officers beat a man for sitting on a brick wall.

MPD took a look at her video Monday.

A spokesperson told WREG it was hard to tell what was actually occurring, but sent us a copy of the report.

Investigators said Keltner Circle was in the middle of an Anti-Tresspass Zone.

The DA’s office said it was a high crime area and made it illegal to loiter or trespass.

Officers said Marcello Dowdy was doing just that Sunday and fought back when they tried to arrest him.

It’s why Paul Garner with Memphis United said he was pushing for police to wear body cameras.

“It provides an unimpeachable record of events. That way you eliminate the he said she said,” said Garner.

Mayor A C Wharton first called for body cameras more than two years ago, but police still don’t have them.

They didn’t even make it into the budget for next year either.

“Everybody keeps asking including Channel 3 when you going to get the cameras. I could go online and get the cameras tomorrow evening, but we want to do it right,” said Wharton.

Nobody was seriously hurt in Sunday’s incident, but Dowdy went to the hospital before going to jail on a list of charges like unlawful possession of a weapon and resisting arrest.

Howell said she will keep sharing this video and her side of the story.

“It’s just heart breaking to know that the police out here doing this to us when you’re supposed to protect us. For them to do that boy like that. That was wrong,” she said.

MPD said there was no formal complaint filed, but if anyone feels like they were mistreated or if they feel officers were acting unprofessional, call Inspectional Services Bureau at 901-576-4955.

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