Woman knocked to the ground by police during Union Ave. protest

MEMPHIS, Tenn — A Memphis police officer in full riot gear was shown charging into a woman with his shield and knocking her to the ground during Wednesday night’s protest.

The woman didn’t want to talk about the incident but activist Hunter Demster knows her.

“She could’ve very easily been thrown in front of a moving vehicle and these are public safety officers putting the public in an unsafe environment,” Demster said.

He said she was recording another protester’s encounter with police when she was shoved to the ground by an officer.

“I think they have to apologize directly to her,” Demster said. “I think that officer needs to be held accountable.”

Related: People gather in Downtown Memphis to protest recent racial injustices

In a statement Friday afternoon, Mayor Jim Strickland said he asked Police Director Michael Rallings to investigate the incident.

This was a drastic change from how he praised officers Thursday during a press conference.

“How proud I am of our police department and those officers on the scene last night,” Strickland said. “I think they handled themselves very well.”

Demster believed it should take more than a video to hold officers accountable.

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He said throughout the protest on Wednesday officers behaved aggressively.

“It shouldn’t require video evidence to prove it and I have concerns about the whole internal affairs process,” Demster said.

FOX13 asked the Memphis Police if the officer was placed on leave. They said it was an ongoing investigation.