Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Former MPD Officer Faces Death Penalty on Federal Charges

Posted By on Tue, Dec 11, 2018 at 10:33 AM

click to enlarge Sam Blue - MEMPHIS POLICE DEPARTMENT
  • Memphis Police Department
  • Sam Blue
A former Memphis Police Department (MPD) officer “will answer for what he’s done,” said police director Michael Rallings in a statement Tuesday morning after the officer was indicted on federal charges last week.

Former MPD officer Sam Blue and Anthony Davis, a co-conspirator, were indicted by a federal grand jury last week on federal rights violations that include robbery and kidnapping. The two would take property from those suspected to be in possession of narcotics or drug proceeds by using force, violence, and intimidation, thereby committing robbery and kidnapping, according to U.S. Attorney Michael Dunavant.

“Prior to the planned robberies, 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,” reads a statement from Dunavant’s office.

"These type of actions have no place on the Memphis Police Department nor in law enforcement, period,” Rallings said in a statement. “This officer chose to violate the law and the trust of our citizens. He chose to turn his back on the citizens of Memphis, his profession, and his fellow officers.

“Now, he will answer for what he's done. His actions should not reflect on the 2,000 plus hardworking men and women of MPD who remain dedicated to serving and protecting the citizens of this great city.”

Blue was hired by MPD in June of 1995, according to police. He is currently relieved of duty pending the ongoing investigation. MPD could provide no further details because of that investigation.

Blue and Davis are also charged with conspiring to “unlawfully obstruct, delay, and affect commerce, and the movement of articles and commodities by robbery and threatened physical violence to other persons.”

The two are also charge with kidnapping a victim, demanding to know the whereabouts of drugs or drug proceeds.

“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,” Dunavant said. “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."

If convicted, Blue and Davis each face the death penalty or a life sentence on one count, a life sentence on another count, 20 years in prison for another count, and fines totaling $750,000.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Tarnished Badge Task Force.

The charges and allegations in the indictment are accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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