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Two Memphis officers arrested hours apart are latest in string of officer arrests

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Two Memphis police officers were both arrested last Thursday night in separate incidents.

The first arrest happened just before 9 p.m. Thursday, when police said Officer Dartelle Joyner got into a fight with a woman inside of an East Memphis restaurant.

Police said a security guard tried to break it up, which is when the nine-year veteran of the police department allegedly went to his car, got an ax and used it to threaten the security guard.

Less than an hour later, authorities said Ozell Toles hit a utility pole while driving under the influence. The 18-year MPD veteran now faces multiple charges.

Both officers were relieved of duty pending investigations by the department.

"Everybody doesn't look at the badge the same way either. Some people get the badge and hide behind it, other people get the badge and do right by it," resident Faith Sargent said.

But these two are not the only MPD officers accused of breaking the law in 2019. Police also arrested Michael Moore, who was accused of attacking his pregnant girlfriend. Those charges were later dropped and Moore was put back on duty. A former officer was arrested last month on charges of sexual exploitation of a minor.

And last month, two former MPD officers were sentenced in a heroin smuggling scheme.

"The number of police officers we have, they're a slice of what goes on in our society. There are going to be those that have their stuff together and those who go off on the deep end," resident Michael Parry said.

Parry father was a police officer. He doesn't excuse bad behavior, but he sees how it could happen.

"Police officers are definitely under a lot more pressure than normal people," he said.

Both he and Sargent say they trust the majority of officers.

The Memphis Police Department has not commented on these latest arrests.

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