Memphis Police Officer Cecil Fowler (left), Officer Steven Breth (right)
Memphis Police Officer Joshua Howard (left), Officer Eric Lee (right)
Memphis Police Officer Francis Cherry (left), and Officer Jonathan Barron (right)
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -
Seven Memphis police officers have been suspended between four days and two weeks without pay stemming from an altercation on July 4, 2011 when two men got into a fight with them near Beale Street.
According to a Memphis police report two men, identified as Michael McDonald and Quinton Lytle, ages unknown, were creating a disturbance near Beale Street. An off-duty police officer overheard the disturbance at the intersection of Linden and Second.
The policeman, Officer Marico Flake, approached the two men, advised them to stop making noise and leave the area. Police spokeswoman Sgt. Karen Rudolph said an altercation ensued between McDonald, Lytle, and Officer Flake, who called for assistance from other off-duty officers nearby.
According to the report, a struggle ensued between the seven off-duty officers and the two defendants. The two men were arrested once they were subdued and charged with disorderly conduct, public intoxication, and resisting official detention.
Sgt. Rudolph said McDonald and Lytle later filed an official complaint with the police department's internal affairs bureau concerning the behavior displayed by the officers involved.
The IAB conducted an investigation into the allegations of excessive and unnecessary force from the July 4, 2011, altercation involving Officer Flake, and six other officers - Cecil Fowler, Steven Breth, Joshua Howard, Eric Lee, Francis Cherry, and Jonathan Barron.
The findings were presented to the Attorney General's Office, but after reviewing the findings the AG declined to seek criminal charges against the seven officers.
Though criminal charges were not filed, seven administrative hearings occurred on Jan. 30, 2013, and the officers were suspended for several days without pay.
Officer Flake received the longest suspension of 15 days for personal conduct and excessive and unnecessary force. Officers Fowler, Breth, Howard, and Barron each received nine-day suspensions without pay from the force.
Officer Lee received a five-day suspension without pay for excessive and necessary force and Officer Cherry received four days suspension without pay for personal conduct.
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