Memphis, TN — Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings told FOX13 his officers did not engage in political profiling as the city promises a review of how names got on a list requiring an escort to visit city hall.
FOX13 Investigates has learned Memphis Police did monitor the activities of certain peace activist.
We first reported the MPD engaged in surveillance of activist's home and businesses.
Multiple police sources told FOX13 they gathered information about the ones involved in protests on the bridge, at Graceland and in front of the Mayor home.
FOX13 asked MPD Director Rallings if he monitors people on the list? "No," said Rallings.
One of those people on this list was Fergus Nolan.
An Greensward activist arrested during a demonstration and the charges against him dropped.
Nolan had complained for years about getting unnecessary attention whenever he visited City Hall. "Hey Strickland, Rallings, first amendment" said Nolan as he jabbed his finger in the air to make a point.
Sources with the MPD told FOX13, protesters arrested or observed during high profile demonstrations, like the ones at the I-40 bridge, Graceland and outside the Mayors house, were involved in what investigators consider to be illegal protests.
Therefore, the police believe they have authority to investigate them and their activities.
FOX13 asked Director Rallings about video posted on the Facebook Page of activist Keedran "TNT" Franklin showing patrol outside his union hall for no apparent reason.
"I am not going to get into that because I don't know if that is valid," said Rallings.
The director told FOX13 his department has many methods of gather information about someone without being so obvious.
Police officers have been regularly monitoring the Facebook pages of people involved in protests. When FOX13 asked why the department would draft a list of people who need an escort to get into City Hall, Rallings insists it is about safety. "That is not a political list. As the police director my number one responsibility is to maintain public safety."
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