Officer suspended after shoving, punching security guard

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

Video shows an off-duty police officer shoving a security officer to the ground and punching him. The incident happened Sunday night at The Bluff on Highland around midnight. Security guard Marc Rice said officer Jarrod Hurst, who was off-duty at the time, unlocked a door that was supposed to remain locked.

Hurst's female companion was also trying to leave with a beer in hand. Rice said leaving the bar with alcohol is not allowed. Rice said he confronted Hurst and told him the door must remain locked and could not be used as an exit.

He said that's when Hurst told him he was a police officer and could do what he wanted. Rice said he took the beer from the woman's hand. In the video, you can see it spill as he was pushed.

Surveillance video shows Hurst shoving Rice to the ground. Rice gets up and goes back at Hurst. The pair scuffle some more and Rice gets pushed over a handrail onto the ground.

Hurst gets on top of Rice, placing his hand on Rice's neck. Other people then surround the two men and break them up. While they're being separated, Hurst throws a punch at Rice.

Rice said he's been working at The Bluff as a security guard for more than a year now but said he's never been involved in an altercation like this. "I'm sore," Rice said. "My heard hurts. I have headaches."

Memphis Police Department confirmed the incident is under investigation. Hurst has been relieved of duty with pay pending the outcome of the investigation, which is standard police policy. The police report lists the possible charge against Hurst as simple assault.

Because this is an ongoing investigation, MPD said they could not give the officer's side of the story. No one from management at The Bluff was available for comment. "Just want police officers to know they are not above the law," Rice said. "I hope the DA gives serious consideration to this charge when it is placed in front of them."

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