Memphis police officer charged with murder, kidnapping in man’s death

National News

Patric Ferguson (Photo: Memphis Police Dept).

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis, Tenn. police officer is charged with forcing a man into his squad car and killing him while on duty.

Victim Robert Howard (Photo: Memphis Police Department)

Patric Ferguson, 29, is charged with first-degree murder, including aggravated kidnapping, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse in the death of 30-year-old Robert Howard.

Police released a statement at 2 a.m. Sunday that outlined the allegations:

On Jan. 6, Howard’s girlfriend called police to report him missing. He had last been seen around 5 p.m. the day before in the 3500 block of Mark Twain Street in Frayser, Tenn.

The woman used an app to track Howard’s cell phone to the area of Lamar and Shelby Drive, police said. They issued a Missing Persons report and a City Watch for Howard.

Police said an investigation revealed that Ferguson, armed with a handgun, encountered Howard outside his residence and forced him into his squad car. The two knew each other, police said.

Joshua Rogers (Photo: Memphis Police Department)

Ferguson then drove to Frayser Boulevard and Denver Street, where he shot and killed Howard, according to Memphis Police.

Ferguson was relieved of duty, police said. He has been assigned to the Memphis Police Department’s Tillman Station since 2018.

Another man, 28-year-old Joshua Rogers, also is charged with tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse in this case. Police say he was an acquaintance of Ferguson and helped him relocate the body.

“No one is above the law,” Police Director Michael Rallings said in a statement. “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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