Viral video shows MPD officer punch, knee man during arrest

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Video of a man fighting with Memphis police is making the rounds on social media. It shows a man wrestling with police inside a Memphis restaurant.

The video has been viewed thousands of times and shared by hundreds of Facebook and Instagram users, prompting many across the city to question whether the officers went too far.

FOX13 learned that the man in the video is Erion Walker, and he was wanted for hitting his girlfriend and damaging her car.

On June 16, 2022, Memphis police were called to Knight Arnold and Inverness Parkway, where Walker’s girlfriend told them she and Walker got into an argument before he wrecked her car. She said the fight started because Walker had recently borrowed her 2018 Infiniti Q50, and when he brought it back, there were bullet holes in it. She said during the argument, Walker got angry and slapped her. When she tried to call her mother, Walker took her phone and threw it out the window. According to an affidavit, Walker’s girlfriend told officers he said, “I’ll f**k this car up,” then intentionally swerved into a curb.

The car was damaged, and Walker left the scene.

His girlfriend’s leg was injured.

According to the affidavit, the car was heavily damaged. Two tires appeared to be broken off the axels, and there was light body damage on the passenger side.

Four days later, on June 20, Walker’s girlfriend went to the Family Safety Center. She identified Walker from a photograph and gave a recorded statement. Records show she said that she feared for her safety.

A second woman who was also in the car gave a statement and said Walker intentionally wrecked the car and that she also feared for her safety.

That same day, records show a warrant was issued for Walker’s arrest, charging him with Aggravated Assault/Domestic Violence, Aggravated Assault, and Vandalism.

That’s what led to Walker’s encounter with Memphis police and an added charge of Resisting Official Detention.

Walker is in the Shelby County Jail on a $51,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court on June 22.

Watch the full video in two parts below.

WARNING: Graphic language

FOX13 spoke to the owner of Rayford’s All In One Hot Wings, where the incident happened. Kevin Rayford is the man behind the camera in the now-viral video.

“The kid was sitting here for 20 minutes. I don’t know what happened prior to coming here, but while he was here, he was nothing but respectful,” said Rayford.

“I had let the guy use the phone, so he brought the phone back to me. Once he gave me the phone back, he said, thank you, Mr. Rayford, and I’ll see you later. As he was exiting the building, they surrounded him and said, ``Where’s your ID,” said Rayford.

Rayford said that’s when things went south, and he started recording.

FOX13 turned to Mike Collins, a retired Shelby County detective who now trains officers.

He said police were probably allowed to take the action seen in the video.

“Overall, I think the justification of force is going to be justified in this particular incident,” said Collins. “If there’s no justification for people to take you into custody, go ahead. Have your day in court.”

Near the end of the video, you can hear an officer threaten the owner for recording. Collins said it is legal to record, and the officer could find himself in hot water for that.

FOX13 reached out to MPD for a statement.

“We are aware of the video, and we are looking into the incident,” an MPD spokesperson said.