Local activist questions new MPD director candidate’s qualifications

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis Mayor will announce his choice for police director in two to three weeks.

That decision was originally expected Tuesday night at the City Council meeting.

One factor that is delaying the process is an 8th candidate named Carelyn “C.J.” Davis, who is the current chief in Durham, North Carolina.

The Chief Human Resource Officer Alex Smith said Davis withdrew her candidacy in March for personal reasons but decided to put her name back in.

RELATED: City of Memphis adds new candidate as process for naming MPD director delayed

Meanwhile, activists like Theryn Bond are questioning why Davis was added last minute and why more community members aren’t included in the selection process.

“If Mayor Strickland is continuing to push this process back and allow for more feedback and more input and consideration, part of that consideration should include public input,” said Bond.

Bond told FOX13 she has no faith in the Memphis Police Director search. She questions why an 8th candidate with a complicated work history was added late in the process.

C.J. Davis currently serves as Chief of Police at the Durham Police Department but before that, she worked for the Atlanta Police Department.

According to the Daily Memphian, in 2008, Davis was demoted then fired by the Atlanta Police Department after she allegedly told detectives not to investigate the husband of a police sergeant accused of possessing child pornography.

The man was indicted and Davis appealed her termination to Atlanta’s civil review board.

The article said the board overturned her firing for inconsistent testimony by one of the detectives in the investigation and she was allowed back.

“To be honest she’s worse than many of the previous seven,” said Bond.


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“That speaks to just how tough that blue wall is for her and just how that much lack of public input and public transparency there is if she was to serve as the next police director,” said Bond.

Later this week, community members who are part of the selection process will be interviewing Davis.

Pastor Bill Adkins is on a panel and is also surprised another candidate is being added to the list.

“I’d to hear from her a little bit about that, I think my responsibility is to ask the tough questions,” said Adkins.

Adkins said whoever gets the police director job needs to be the right fit for Memphis.

“It’s a critical time for us with the police department we need a good leader,” he said. “We need a good director. We need someone who is very special and sensitive to the times and what’s going on now in police work.”

FOX3 reached out to the City of Memphis about Davis’ past but didn’t hear back. We also tried to reach Davis for her side of the story and we are waiting for a response.