by: Bria Jones
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Amid a federal investigation into the Memphis Police Department, a man is coming forward to claim that a Memphis Police officer raped him during a traffic stop.
Deaundra Billingsley filed a lawsuit against the Memphis Police Department claiming that he was wrongfully stopped, detained, and raped by an officer in Binghampton in 2019.
Billingsley says the incident happened after he pulled over to talk with a friend who was also patted down.
“They just jumped out the car, and he slapped his hands on the hood and was like ‘Hands on the hood, now’ never asked me my name,” Billingsley said.
He says he was not expecting what happened next.
“He took a finger in my anus and said he was searching for drugs,” Billingsley said.
Jake Brown is Billingsley’s attorney.
“You determine excessive force based on if the amount of force was unreasonable for the circumstance. In my client’s case, it certainly was,” Brown said. “They inserted a finger into his anus without following the proper stature.”
Brown says while marijuana was found on Billingsley’s friend, officers found no drugs on Billingsley and eventually he was let go.
Complaints of situations like this are what prompted the U.S. Department of Justice to announce a civil rights investigation into the city of Memphis and the Memphis Police Department to “determine whether there is a practice or pattern of conduct that violates the constitution.”
Billingsley and his attorney believe the federal investigation into MPD is warranted to end a culture that disproportionately impacts Black and brown people.
“Has a pattern of treating certain communities in this city as less than, entitled to fewer rights and less protection, and that is not what the law says,” Brown said.
“I shouldn’t have to die for my voice to be heard,” Billingsley said. “I don’t want to be the next Tyre Nichols or George Floyd. I need my story to be heard while I’m still breathing.”