On December 6, 2018, a federal grand jury indicted a former Memphis Police Officer, Sam Blue, and co-conspirator, Anthony Davis, on federal criminal civil rights violations which include the violent crimes of robbery and kidnapping. U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant announced the indictment today.
As charged in Count 1 of the indictment, from January 2014 to July 13, 2018, officer Sam Blue and Anthony Davis conspired to deprive persons of civil rights under color of law by injuring, oppressing, threatening, and intimidating them. The civil rights violations included taking property from persons suspected to be in possession of narcotics or drug proceeds by using force, violence, and intimidation, thereby committing robbery and kidnapping.
Prior to the planned robberies, officer Blue would provide his civilian co-conspirators with targeting information of the victims, as well as police equipment, including an official MPD badge, and a car dashboard blue light to use during the planned robberies so that they could falsely appear to be law enforcement officers.
In Count 2, Blue and Davis are charged with knowingly conspiring with each other during the same time period to unlawfully obstruct, delay and affect commerce and the movement of articles and commodities by robbery and threatened physical violence to other persons, in furtherance of plan and purpose to commit robbery. Under federal law, it is illegal to interfere with interstate commerce by unlawfully taking property belonging to another by physical violence, under color of official right.
In Count 3, Blue and Davis are charged with depriving an individual of his civil rights by kidnapping. On July 13, 2018, Blue and Davis, along with other individuals posing as law enforcement kidnapped the victim, demanding to know the whereabouts of drugs or drug proceeds.
U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said: “A very low percentage of law enforcement officers engage in official misconduct and corruption, but when they do, it tarnishes the entire criminal justice system and damages the trust and confidence of citizens in proper police authority. When police officers use their badges to violate and oppress civil rights by robbery and kidnapping, it is our duty to expose their corruption, hold them accountable, and protect society from their violence and dishonesty. This indictment and significant potential sentences will hopefully deter other corrupt police behavior, restore the public’s faith in honest officers, and send a strong message that nobody is above the law.”
“Law enforcement corruption undermines the public trust and can threaten the overall safety of our community,” said M.A. Myers, Special Agent in Charge of the Memphis Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “These indictments show that we will target those who abuse their authority and through their actions tarnish the reputation of the vast number of law enforcement officers who execute their duties with integrity and in the best interests of the public on a daily basis.”
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Tarnished Badge Task Force.
If convicted on count 1, the defendants each face up to life imprisonment, or may be sentenced to death and a $250,000 fine; on count 2, the defendants each face not more than 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine; and on count 3, the defendants each face up to life imprisonment or may be sentenced to death and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney David Pritchard is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The charges and allegations in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.