MPA leadership asked to return to regular tour of duty - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

MPA leadership asked to return to regular tour of duty

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From left to right: MPA executive board members include Williams, vice president Essica Littlejohn, and secretary/treasurer Jeff Herbison. (Image source: memphispoliceassociation.org) From left to right: MPA executive board members include Williams, vice president Essica Littlejohn, and secretary/treasurer Jeff Herbison. (Image source: memphispoliceassociation.org)
MPD Director Toney Armstrong (left), MPA President Mike Williams (right) MPD Director Toney Armstrong (left), MPA President Mike Williams (right)
Instead of doing their union work in an office, they will have to return to their normal tour of duty. Instead of doing their union work in an office, they will have to return to their normal tour of duty.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - The Memphis Police Director told Memphis Police Association leaders to leave their office and go back on the streets, returning to their regular tours of duty.

This is effective as of Thursday afternoon.

According to MPD, this means that there is still a union, and Mike Williams is still the MPA President.

Although, instead of doing their union work in an office, they will have to return to their normal tour of duty.

MPA executive board members include Williams, vice president Essica Littlejohn, and secretary/treasurer Jeff Herbison.

The Memphis Police Department Public Information Officer released the below statement:

"I have been advised that three officers who were assigned to the union office have been returned to their home bid, which means they will be doing the job that taxpayers pay them to do: serve the citizens and our community."

This follows Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong announcing his plan to file a formal statement of verbal misconduct charges against Williams Thursday.

Action News 5's Kontji Anthony witnessed the heated exchange when the director and the union president met on the 12th floor of the Criminal Justice Complex Wednesday.

The bitter battle began when Williams interviewed with Action News 5's Kontji Anthony regarding a new report that says crime in Memphis dropped 5.7 percent in 2013.

"There were 19 shootings in less than 72 hours in this city," Williams said. "You can make numbers say anything you want them to say to make yourself look good."

When Kontji asked Director Armstrong for reaction, the next few hours were eventful, to say the least.

Director Armstrong asked Anthony to speak with her one-on-one about the interview. He then told her he was calling Williams to his 12th floor office to have a face-to-face round table discussion about Williams' statements.

Anthony was there with other union reps and police administrators, but the camera was not allowed inside.

Armstrong and Williams went back and forth about the crime stats, neither was backing down.

Armstrong says he does not cook books; crime is down and he stands by his numbers. He then grilled Williams, asking if he had his own data to prove otherwise.

Williams said he did not, but said there is community perception that crime is up and he had a First Amendment right to say so.

"You cannot make reckless statements and hide behind First Amendment rights," said Armstrong, who also said Williams went too far this time.

Armstrong says officers can be charged for reckless statements, which he said was the case in this matter. Read more about the call for Williams' verbal misconduct charge here.

Mike Williams said Thursday he could not comment on returning to his tour of duty. Williams and the other union officers, or any police officer, can go to the police association offices anytime while they are off duty.

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