FOX13 investigates Memphis police's 'Use-of-Force' policy

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — FOX13 is taking a closer look at the Memphis Police Department’s “Use-of-Force” policy after Wednesday night’s deadly officer-involved shooting.

Michael Collins, a retired lieutenant with the Shelby County Sheriff's Office, said the use of force continuum is a guideline for how much force an officer can use during a call.

“Their first job as a police officer, law enforcement officer, is the preservation of life and that includes theirs as well,” said Collins.

While responding to a domestic disturbance call, TBI investigators said Abdoulaye Thiam ran towards three MPD officers with a knife.


Collins said those calls are the most dangerous for officers.

“Irregardless if there’s a weapon involved or not, they are always a volatile situation,” said Collins. “They pose the threat of things could get potentially dangerous.”

MPD’s use-of-force policy states officers have to consider the facts and circumstances of an encounter before using force.

The policy adds an officer can "use whatever force that is necessary and reasonable" to protect others or themselves.

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“In police training, that’s the one of the things they train you to recognize – that a bladed weapon is just as dangerous as a firearm,” said Collins.

Pastor Ralph White is the co-chair of the Civilian Law Enforcement Review Board, an independent agency that investigates police misconduct violations.

He said the footage from these officer's body worn cameras will play a critical role in determining if this use of force was necessary.

“You said your life was threated, we're going to see that, you know, acted out and if you come out innocent then that's the way it goes,” said Pastor White. “But if there was another alternative there are going to be questions and you'll have to deal with that.”

FOX13 has requested the body worn camera footage from TBI.