Former officer charged with kidnapping murder, previously failed to comply with MPD regulations

Documents reveal previous infractions for former officer charged in murder

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - WMC Action News 5 has been investigating the work history of a former Memphis police officer now charged with murder.

We asked Memphis Police Department for Patric Ferguson’s personnel file to see if the rookie cop had any problems before he was arrested earlier this month and charged with killing a man in the back of his squad car.

MPD sent WMC 83 pages that detail two incidents in Patric Ferguson’s brief career as a Memphis Police officer: an altercation on Beale Street and a fender bender at Oak Court Mall in East Memphis.

Patric Ferguson joined MPD in October 2018. Department files show the rookie cop was disciplined for the first time in August 2019. Ferguson accidentally backed the MPD Blue Crush van into a concrete barrier in the parking lot of Oak Court Mall, damaging a strobe light on the vehicle.

Records show he was suspended for one day without pay and had to take an eight-hour remedial driving course.

The next incident happened the following month, September 2019, down on Beale Street.

MPD documents say Ferguson and his partner were called to Dyer’s to handle a disruptive, drunken couple. The man slapped the security guard and the woman yelled threats at him and had to be restrained by officers. But Ferguson wrote no report about what happened.

An MPD investigation discovered the woman was an off-duty police officer Ferguson knew from the training academy. Her boyfriend, the guy who assaulted the security guard, was a Memphis firefighter.

Ferguson was disciplined and charged with failing to comply with MPD regulations and for failing to activate his body camera during the altercation. He was suspended in November for three days without pay.

Fast forward a year and Ferguson found himself in a jail cell charged with kidnapping and killing 30-year-old Robert Howard. Investigators say Ferguson shot him in the back of his squad car and called a friend to help him dispose of the body.

As for a motive for the murder? MPD won’t say. But Howard’s family says he was dating Ferguson’s ex-girlfriend and Ferguson was upset about that. Investigators say Ferguson confessed to the killing while being questioned by police. But during his first court appearance, he pleaded not guilty.

After he was charged with Howard’s death, Ferguson resigned from the force to avoid being terminated.

Copyright 2021 WMC. All rights reserved.