Police officer arrested, charged with domestic assault | News
(WMC-TV) - Memphis police officer Samuel Hearn has been arrested and charged with domestic assault.
Some studies report domestic violence is two to four times more common in police families.
Memphis Police said around six Friday morning, off-duty Officer Samuel Hearn grabbed a 23-year-old woman by her throat inside Greenbrook Apartments and slammed her on the ground.
Officers discovered redness around the victim's neck at which time Hearn was taken into custody and transported to the Domestic Violence Bureau where he was charged with Domestic Assault.
YWCA Abused Women Services Community Education Director Elizabeth Shelley has no connection with the case.
But, she says many people experience job stress who don't practice violence.
"It's not the cause, but it can lower the resistance of a person to being violent," said Shelley.
Strangulation is a common crime in domestic assaults.
Shelley said Tennessee lawmakers upgraded the offense from a misdemeanor to a felony six months back because it can be lethal.
"They may not exhibit symptoms right away, but up to two weeks later, they could die from it," said Shelley.
Though the final tally's not out, Shelley said Memphis' domestic violence homicides increased in 2012 and police received about 1700 calls per month.
Shelley said it's critical to get help right away.
"Statistics say it's going to happen again and not only that, it's going to happen more often and it's going to get worse," said Shelley.
Memphis Police said officers get annual training and counseling is always available.
The police director said Hearn will be held accountable for his actions by both the criminal justice system and internally.
Samuel Hearn has been employed by the Memphis Police Department since April 12, 2010 and is currently assigned to Raines Station.
Hearn has been relieved of duty with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.
"Domestic violence is a crime that remains prevalent nationwide. As the director of the Memphis Police Department, I require annual training where officers are advised of ways to overcome stressful domestic situations," said Director Toney Armstrong.
"Counseling is provided for all employees that seek assistance. I can't tell you how disappointing this is to have an officer to find himself on the wrong side of the law; especially after the overwhelming support shown to this department. He will be held accountable for his actions by both the criminal justice system and the Memphis Police Department," said Armstrong.
Action News 5 would like to stress that YWCA Abused Women Services Community Education Director Elizabeth Shelley has no connection in any way to this case now under investigation.
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