Memphis officer charged with kidnapping, killing man in squad car

The victim's family says the father of three may have been dating a woman the officer had a previous relationship with

An officer in the Memphis Police Department has been charged with murder.

Patric Ferguson is charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping and has been fired. Last week, Ferguson and an accomplice allegedly participated in the death of 30-year-old Robert Howard in Memphis, Tennessee. The victim’s family says he was dating a woman the officer had previously been involved with, per WREG News.

Patric Ferguson Memphis police murder
Patric Ferguson (Memphis Police Department)

On Jan. 6, police received a call that Howard was missing. After further investigation, they discovered Ferguson had gone to Howard’s home and forced him into his squad car. He then drove the victim to an area near Frayser Boulevard and Denver Street and shot him, according to a press release the Memphis Police Department posted to its Facebook page.

“This hit me hard because I never could see me burying my brother,” said Kortez Howard, the victim’s younger brother. “This is a prime example of good people being taken away from their families for no reason. My brother has never did nothing wrong to nobody,”

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Howard’s body was discovered on Sunday morning.

Officers say Ferguson had been with the department since Oct. 2018. He allegedly shot the victim while he was on duty with his personal handgun.

Ferguson has been charged with first-degree murder, abuse of a corpse, fabricating and tampering with evidence, first-degree murder in perpetration of aggravated kidnapping, and especially aggravated kidnapping. Joshua Rogers, an acquaintance of Ferguson’s is also charged for helping the former officer move the body. Rogers was charged with abuse of a corpse, fabricating and tampering with evidence, and accessory after the fact.

MPD director Michael Rallings said:

“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.”

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He added, “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.”

The family says they hope the police department will do better in screening applicants in the future.

“Better your staff. Better the people that you hire,” said Howard. “Every good person that you hire ain’t out here to serve and protect us, man. You don’t know what vengeance they have against us.”

A GoFundMe has been in honor of the victim.

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