Former Memphis Police Officer Sentenced to 12 Years for Criminal Civil Rights Violations

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FILE PHOTO: American flag waves outside the U.S. Department of Justice Building in Washington

Memphis, TN – A federal judge has sentenced a former Memphis Police Officer to 12 years in federal 
prison for criminal civil rights violations.  U.S. Attorney Kevin G. Ritz announced the sentence 
today.

On January 24, 2020, former Memphis Police Officer Sam Blue 63, pled guilty to conspiracy to 
violate civil rights by using force, violence, and intimidation, and conspiracy to commit robbery 
affecting interstate commerce. On October 25, 2022, United States District Court Judge John T. 
Fowlkes Jr. sentenced Blue to 144 months in federal prison to be followed by three years’ 
supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.

U.S. Attorney Kevin G. Ritz said: “Our citizens have a right to be policed by officers who follow 
the law. This officer abused his authority and violated others’ civil rights. He’ll now spend a 
significant time in federal prison. My hope is that this sentence sends a clear message that law 
enforcement officers who break the law will be held accountable.”
“This sentencing proves that abuse of law enforcement authority will not be tolerated,” said Bryan 
McCloskey, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Memphis Field Office of the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation. “Every citizen has the right to expect law enforcement officers to act in accordance 
with the laws they have sworn to uphold, and the FBI is committed to aggressively investigating and 
bringing to justice those officers who break the law and violate the public trust.”

According to information presented in court, between 2014 and 2018 Sam Blue, a sworn Memphis Police 
Department Officer, conspired with others to rob drug dealers of drugs or drug proceeds. Prior to 
the planned robberies, various co-conspirators would conduct surveillance of the targets. Officer 
Blue provided his co-conspirators with information, such as home addresses for the targets of the robberies, obtained from law enforcement restricted sources. Blue also provided his co-conspirators with equipment, including an official MPD badge, and a car dashboard blue light to use during the planned robberies so that they could falsely claim to appear to be law enforcement.

In July 2018, Eric Cain was selected as a robbery target by the conspirators.  The defendants began 
conducting surveillance on Cain and put a GPS tracker on his car. Blue provided the gate code used 
by law enforcement to access Cain’s apartment complex in furtherance of the plan to commit the 
robbery.

On July 13, 2018, as Cain was leaving his apartment in Memphis around 4:30 a.m., a black car with 
flashing blue lights pulled up behind his car. Cain believed he was being stopped by law 
enforcement. Two of the defendants, dressed in black clothing with the word “police” on it and 
wearing masks and armed with handguns, got out of the car with the flashing lights and ordered Cain 
to get out of his car and get on the ground. Cain obeyed and the men handcuffed him, put a hood 
over his face, and placed him in the back of their car. The defendants then drove Cain to a house 
on Reese Road here in Memphis.
At this new location, Cain was taken inside the house and restrained while the defendants beat him, 
burned him on his arms, neck, and head, and demandedthat he tell them where he kept his money 
and/or drugs. Cain was able to escape by jumping through the front window of the house. He was 
hospitalized for a week in the burn unit and underwent surgery for his injuries.

U.S. Attorney Ritz thanked the FBI Tarnished Badge Task Force, which investigated this case, and 
Assistant United States Attorney David Pritchard, who prosecuted this case on behalf of the 
government.

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Contact Public Information Officer Cherri Green at 901-544-4231 or cherri.green@usdoj.gov. Follow @ WDTNNews on Twitter for office news and updates.