Caught on camera: Memphis Police officers beating a man in the street in front of the Peabody Hotel. Two officers are now under investigation.
MPD administration opened an investigation once they saw the video. On it, you can see an officer punching a man over and over in the middle of Union Avenue.
The man being hit is 28-year-old Yasin Bashir. According to Memphis Police records, Bashir had been aggressively panhandling, even urinating, on Main Street.
Security officers with the Downtown Memphis Commissions’ Blue Suede Brigade had been escorting Bashir out of the area when, according to the police report, Bashir charged at one of them. According to the report, a Memphis Police officer was walking in the area when it happened and assisted.
An MPD spokesperson confirms the person hitting Bashir is a Memphis Police Officer
Paul Garner with the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center viewed the video and thinks the officer went too far.
“When someone is down, they are down. When you continue to beat them over the face or the head, I could classify that as excessive,” said Garner.
According to the police report, Bashir spat in the officers’ faces, so the officer used “hard empty hands to take the suspect down.”
“No matter what may have instigated that moment, I don’t think that’s the way a trained officer should react,” said Garner. “I think we want to expect more from law enforcement than reacting to anything with excessive force.”
Bashir was charged with aggressive panhandling and assault.
Memphis Police say this incident was captured by body-worn camera video, which is currently being reviewed by Inspectional Services Bureau. ISB is also checking to see if any other video from the area is available for review.
“In incidents such as this, I will not wait for a complainant to come forward. Officers of the Memphis Police Department are expected to remain professional and work toward building the trust of our citizens. If it is found that this officer violated policy, corrective actions will be taken,” said Director Michael Rallings.
Memphis police say they will release more information about the investigation when it’s available.