Man Beaten in Police Custody With Chairs, Ping-Pong Paddles

Daniel Jefferson, 29, claims that police beat him as he was charged in connection with the shooting of a Memphis Police Department Organized Crime Unit officer. The accused shooter talked, exclusively, to WMC Action News 5 from behind bars.

Jefferson is charged with trying to kill MPD officer Robert Armour.

Regional Medical Hospital confirms 29-year-old Jefferson was taken there on Thursday night and released Friday morning.

7356560_GWMC Action News 5’s Felicia Bolton was interviewing his mother Friday when he called home. He agreed to talk from inside jail, making claims that he was subject to a police beating almost immediately after he was arrested.

“Yea, they took my clothes off. They beat me with chairs and everything,” claims Jefferson. “They kicked me all in my ribs and my private area. They said they didn’t want to leave any bruises.”

Jefferson is accused of shooting Officer Armour, a member of the Organized Crime Unit, on Thursday.

Armour, a father and a 8-year veteran of the force, was shot in the leg and luckily survived.

Jefferson, arrested a short time later, says the beating started as soon as he entered the Raines precinct.

“And then they took me in a back room, when you go in to the left. They started beating me with chairs and little plastic ping pong paddles,” Jefferson said over the phone.

He says someone heard him screaming for help and told the officers to stop, but they didn’t.

“They had took my clothes off. I was the whole time, I was handcuffed. They was just beating me the whole time,” Jefferson claimed. “Then somebody had came in there and had told everybody to stop. That’s when I had started screaming for help.”

He continued, “Then when I got to homicide, Officer —- beat me, too. I’m talking about, he beat my head in the ground. They beat me in my face, poured water in my face like he was trying to drown me.”

Although Jefferson made repeated claims of physical abuse at the hands of police, a new booking photo released Friday showed no signs of serious injury. Police say there were also no cameras in the precinct to confirm or refute the claims of Jefferson, who has a long and violent criminal history.

Jefferson says police took him to the hospital to let the swelling go down before taking the photo.

“I got couple of scratches on my face, but two or three officers made the mistake of hitting me in my face. Because I was balled up,” he explained.

Memphis Police Department stated that Jefferson went to the hospital because he “complained of unrelated injury.” He was later charged with attempted first-degree murder, employment of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and convicted felon in possession of a handgun.

After explaining Jefferson’s claims to MPD , WMC Action News 5 asked again for police to provide any video or photo evidence contrary to Jefferson’s statement. Police said the Raines Station is not equipped with cameras that record.

Officer Robert Armour was shot in the leg just before 12 p.m. on Thursday. He was taken to Regional Medical Center for treatment and was later released.

MPD released the following statement about Jefferson’s claims:

“Although we have not received a formal complaint from Daniel Jefferson or a representative, we have initiated an investigation into the allegations.”

WMC Action News 5 – Memphis, Tennessee