Activists demand transparency during investigation into video of officer shoving woman to ground
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Memphis, TN (WREG) — WREG is learning more about a video that appears to show a Memphis Police officer pushing a woman to the ground during Wednesday’s night protest on Union Avenue.
The woman who was hit, who has been identified as “Molly,” gave WREG a new angle of the video, showing what she was seeing until her camera hit the ground. Molly was reportedly taking pictures during the protest.
Protester Hunter Demster says he saw it all.
“I see this mob of police officers in full riot gear come around the corner and just start bashing people,” Demster said. “Everybody is just talking about the one clip of Molly that was taken off of her feet, blindsided by a Memphis Police officer. That type of contact is illegal in football.”
He says Molly was documenting what was happening and initially stepped out of the way of the officers, but then was hit by one of the them.
“He shoved her so far that there was an oncoming car she could have easily been pushed in front of,” Demster said.
Initially, the police department and Memphis’ mayor never mentioned the incident when discussing how things went during the protest. The mayor even praised how police handled things.
“That is that blind allegiance that we are fighting against,” Demster said. “Then it takes video evidence of this brutality to raise some kind of awareness.”
After WREG continued to press for police and city to respond, Strickland sent a statement, saying, “After learning more information on an event that occurred Wednesday night with one of our officers and a female protester, I have asked director Rallings to fully investigate the matter.”
Police declined our request for an interview, but said they are aware of the video and an investigation has been opened. They are working to identify the officer involved.
“I don’t trust that entire process. That’s police policing police,” Demster said.
Demster and others want an apology from the mayor for initially praising police actions, and they also want an independent investigation.
“We want transparency. Something has to change. The system in broken obviously for this to keep happening over and over and over and over again,” Demster said.
Demster says Molly plans to file a lawsuit.
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