Activist: Officers questioned black man who was asking for job application

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis-area activist filed an internal investigation complaint against a law enforcement officer after an incident in Cooper Young.

The activist, Hunter Demster, filmed an interaction between officers and a black man on June 6, 2018.

He told FOX13 the man had just asked for a job application at a nearby restaurant around 7 p.m. when officers began questioning him.

Video obtained by FOX13 shows two officers – one in uniform and one not in uniform – talking to the man. One officer told the activist to stop recording, which he refuses to do.

Just as Demster begins a Facebook Live broadcast, the officer reaches for the phone – saying, “At this point, you’re interfering with an investigation,” – and the video shuts off after just three seconds.

MPD policy gives the public the right to film and even be critical of officers’ actions. This activist who filed the complaint wants all officers to be held accountable to the letter of the policy.

Trending stories:

Demster said he was recording from about 15 feet away.

“They didn't like that they were on camera, and they didn't like the idea of being held accountable,” Demster told FOX13.

According to MPD’s policy, officers are not allowed to order a person to stop such activity or demand the person state a reason why they are recording.

The policy even says a citizen can express criticism of the police activity as long as it does not jeopardize the officer, suspect or cause interference.

A spokesperson for Memphis police said they are investigating because one of their officers was seen in the video, but the officer cannot be heard in the video.

An SCSO spokesperson said they also have a film-recording policy, but FOX13 has not received that yet.