Police in Memphis are being accused by witnesses of slamming a 91-year-old man into a car because he pointed a walking stick at them.
Local news station WREG reports that Memphis police were investigating an assault case in South Memphis on Thursday when they encountered 91-year-old Otha Thurmond, who was walking in the neighborhood with the help of a walking stick.
In their report, the officers claim that Thurmond “waved and pointed a stick at them and interfered in their ability to keep the peace.” The officers also detained Thurmond and gave him a misdemeanor citation for disorderly conduct.
However, three witnesses on the scene tell WREG that police left crucial details out of their reports. Specifically, they claim the officers slammed Thurmond into a police car as they were detaining him.
“They asked him what is he doing with a stick. He said, ‘I’m old, I need this stick.’ He showed it to them, they grabbed him, they slammed him on the car, put his arm all the way up here to the back of his back,” witness Niesha Lowe told WREG.
“He never raised his stick up in a threatening manner,” added witness Carl Randolph. “They roughed him up, they threw him on the car as if he was some young thug.”
Police say they are still investigating the incident with Thurmond, and they will not release body camera footage until their investigation is complete.
Watch WREG’s report on the incident below.