May 6, 2021 18:49

Memphis officer arrested after kidnapping, murdering acquaintance while on duty, police say

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis police officer is accused of kidnapping and murdering a man while he was on duty, investigators said.

The Memphis Police Department said Officer Patric Ferguson held Robert Howard at gunpoint Tuesday and put him in the back of his patrol car before fatally shooting him, WHBQ reported.

Ferguson, an officer since October 2018, and Howard previously knew each other, investigators said.

Ferguson, armed with his personal firearm, confronted Howard, 30, in front of the victim’s residence, officials said. Ferguson then forced Howard into the back of his patrol car. They drove to another area, where Ferguson fatally shot Howard. Joshua Rogers, an acquaintance of Ferguson’s, helped him move Howard’s body, ABC News reported.

Ferguson, 29, was arrested Sunday and immediately relieved of duty. He was charged with first-degree murder, first-degree murder in perpetration of aggravated kidnapping, abuse of a corpse, and fabricating and tampering with evidence, according to arrest records.

Rogers, 28, was arrested and charged with accessory after the fact, abuse of a corpse, and fabricating and tampering with evidence.

The motive for the killing remains unclear.

Ferguson has confessed to the crimes, according to investigators.

“No one is above the law. Knowing that a Memphis Police Officer, someone who took an oath to protect and serve, made the decision to commit this horrific crime is devastating. His actions were not that of a law enforcement officer and should not reflect on fellow officers,” Agency Director Michael Rallings said in a statement. “Our investigators responded swiftly and did an outstanding job by identifying the suspect responsible. This is an example of the professionalism and dedication that is displayed daily. Regardless of who you are, our investigators will conduct a thorough investigation and will seek justice for all victims.”


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