Memphis Police say there is more to the story in viral arrest video of man in wheelchair

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Facebook that has circulated across Memphis has more to its story.

It showed what appeared to be a handicapped man being manhandled by police outside a Memphis convenience store.

FOX13 was sent the video over a dozen times.

As you can imagine, there are two very different sides of this story.

In Frayser, people said this is just another example of police crossing the line.

Memphis Police said the suspect was banned from the store, resisted arrest, and assaulted an officer.

Which further divides an already tense relationship in Frayser between police and the public.

Memphis Police said things took a turn when 42-year-old Charles Johnson spit on officers as he resisted arrest.

It happened Saturday outside the EZ Express on Frayser Blvd.

What followed has the Frayser community up in arms.

In the video, you see an MPD officer hit Johnson in the face with a closed fist.

Johnson is handicapped.

His wheelchair is in the foreground of the Facebook live video of the incident.

Memphis Police said they were called to the EZ Express because Johnson was loitering out front, when he’s on a list of people that are banned from the store.

We went to the store to ask the folks inside if that’s true.

A woman inside told us she was working at the time, and Johnson wasn’t on any of the lists they had behind the register.

She told us Johnson was inside the store to purchase something when Memphis Police officers showed up.

She said he was carrying weed but wasn’t selling it out front when he was arrested.

“What was the probable cause for coming in to get him? If he had it in the store, I’ve never seen it, so how did they know,” said Christopher Edwards.

We spoke to him outside the store Monday.

He told us he sees Johnson at the EZ Express every morning when he gets his coffee.

He heard all about what happened over the weekend.

“Maybe he’s wrong for spitting, but two wrongs don’t make a right,” Edwards said. “They were wrong for the way they overdid their job.”

The store’s owner told FOX13’s Winnie Wright police frequent the area because he’s had to call several times for loitering and because customers have been robbed.

While Johnson wasn’t on their list, he said police likely know him from the area.

“We call the police for help, who do we call about them,” Edwards said.

Johnson was charged with criminal trespass, disorderly conduct, selling marijuana, resisting arrest and assault.

We looked up his rap sheet and found out he’s had two sex offender registry violations, resisting arrest, unlawful possession, and aggravated assault charges in the past.