MPD Director Armstrong, Mayor Wharton Comment On Bloody Beale Street Video




Footage of a man, unconscious and lying in a pool of blood on Memphis’ world-renowned Beale Street, has gone viral.

Around 2 a.m. Sunday, August 10th, Johnathan Parker was discovered with blood flowing from his head and his pants pulled down past his knees. A video posted online displays several people standing around Parker as they record him with their cell phones. But what’s not shown in the video is anyone contacting 911 or alerting law enforcement.

So far, the video has been shared more than 1,800 times on Facebook.

According to the Memphis Police Department (MPD) report taken at the scene, Parker was discovered by law enforcement around 2:25 a.m., unconscious and bleeding from the head.

After he gained consciousness, an officer spoke to Parker, who was reportedly inebriated. The victim provided his name and replied “I’m straight” when asked what happened. He wouldn’t tell officers what happened or who hurt him. Due to Parker’s intoxication, officers were unable to gather enough information to produce a full report.

Following the interview, Parker was transported to the Regional Medical Center in critical condition. He was later upgraded to non-critical condition.

“At this time, it is not clear if this individual was in a fight or if he passed out or fell,” read a statement provided by MPD’s Sgt. Karen Rudolph. “According to the report on file, this individual was intoxicated and was unable to provide any information pertaining to a fight. I spoke with the South Main Station supervisor who advised that investigators followed up with the victim, who is currently in non-critical condition at Regional One, who advised that he doesn’t remember what happened.

“I checked with Communications regarding possible calls for help in connection with this incident and was advised that no calls were received from citizens on the scene. Officers who were in the area conducted a self-initiated call to Communications advising that they located one male down and additional officers were needed. Officers were not neglectful in responding to this call due to the fact that they never received a call."

Rudolph's statement acknowledged that this is an ongoing investigation; investigators are checking for any additional video that may have been captured. It stated that MPD are following up with several postings that have been placed on Facebook. Anyone with footage that shows an actual fight or any additional footage that may assist with this investigation are encouraged to forward it to the MPD's PIO Office (

MPD director Toney Armstrong provided his take on the incident: “It is disheartening to see an injured person laying on the ground with spectators capturing photos and video; but not calling for assistance,” stated Director Armstrong. “MPD Communications did not receive a call concerning this wounded individual; however, officers who were assigned to Beale Street responded immediately once they witnessed a large crowd and a man down. This is an ongoing investigation and we are trying to put the pieces together to determine what actually occurred.”

Mayor A C Wharton, Jr. has also released a statement in response to the incident, labeling it “a truly regrettable situation all the way around.”

“I guess I’m not so shocked by the fact that even in a city known for helping people in need that a person in obvious distress would not be immediately assisted by those who saw the situation,” Wharton said. “I’m reminded that even in the Biblical story of the Good Samaritan, two people passed by the man on the roadside bleeding before the Samaritan stopped to help. What is, however, more upsetting to so many of us is that instead of ignoring this individual’s need for help, some people actually stopped and took the time to use their phones to record the incident. These are the same phones that people could have used to call for help given that the initial team of Memphis Police Officers arrived on the scene despite having not received a report of the incident.”

The police report taken at the scene can be read below. And click here to view footage of the incident.

On 08/10/2014 at 02:25 hours, Officer N Payne (12593) reported a 'Precinct GIB' memo at 877 Jefferson Ave where victim Johnathan Parker was transported by MFD #11 from Beale St in critical condition. Officers on Beale St. found a male unconscious bleeding from the head. Officer Payne spoke to the victim, that smelled strongly of intoxicants. The victim only provided his name. Officers had to research the victim’s name in Shelby County wasp system to identify him. Officers asked the victim Johnathan Parker what happened he only replied, “I'm straight.” The victim would not tell officers what happened, or who hurt him. The victim Johnathan Parker was under a state of intoxication that prevented officers from gathering enough information to produce a full report. Officer captured photos of the victim’s injuries. The nurse Kerry Lyons, PACE RN advised his condition was non critical. A supervisor, Lt. Tucker (5605) was advised. There was no crime scene. There is video on Beale St, but it was not immediately available.

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