In case you haven’t said “what the fuck” enough over the past several days, a now-former cop in Memphis is facing charges for kidnapping and killing a man—while on duty.
CNN reports that former Memphis Police Officer Patric Ferguson, 29, allegedly forced Robert Howard, 30, into the back of his squad car and drove him for less than a mile before fatally shooting him. Howard was last seen at his home last Tuesday and his girlfriend reported him missing the following Wednesday. A statement released by the Memphis Police Department revealed investigators found Ferguson allegedly shot Howard with his personal handgun and was “acting of his own accord.” The two men did know each other, but it’s unclear what the extent of their relationship was, as well as what the motive was for the crime.
Surveillance footage acquired by investigators revealed that the shooting allegedly occurred while Ferguson was on duty. An affidavit revealed that an investigation into Ferguson’s phone brought up searches for how to clean up a crime scene, how to destroy DNA evidence, as well as items he purchased that were meant to help “hide evidence.”
“No one is above the law,” MPD Director Michael Rallings said in a statement. “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.”
Ferguson, who has been with the department since 2018, was arrested on Sunday and immediately relieved of his duties. He has been charged with first-degree murder, first-degree murder in perpetration of aggravated kidnapping, especially aggravated kidnapping, abuse of a corpse, and tampering with or fabricating evidence.
This is awful. There are no two ways around it. But I just kind of thought a cop would know that you probably shouldn’t search “how to get away with a crime” before you plan to commit said crime. I’m pretty sure there are multiple episodes of Law and Order that show exactly how this scenario plays out.
Joshua Rogers, 28, a friend of Ferguson’s, was also arrested on Sunday for allegedly helping Ferguson move Howard’s body. He was charged with accessory after the fact, abuse of a corpse, and tampering with or fabricating evidence.
In a Facebook post on Sunday, the MPD revealed that a body they believe to be Howard’s was “recovered in the area of Second Street and the Wolf River Bridge.” Ferguson is being held on no bond with his first court appearance scheduled for Monday. Records at the Shelby County Jail show Rogers was released on a $25,000 bond with his first court appearance also scheduled for Monday.