We at The Takeout house a host of strong opinions about hot dogs, but let us be clear: We’re not the hot dog police. Our American right to safely eat hot dogs whenever we damn well please is essentially written into the Constitution. So the allegation that a Memphis cop assaulted and handcuffed an EMT for fixing herself a hot dog is deeply troubling—as lovers of freedom, safety, and encased meats.
According to FOX13 Memphis, the whole incident went down at Regional One Health Medical Center. The victim, an EMT, went to retrieve a wheelchair for a patient in police custody, and she saw there were hot dogs in the break room. Like anyone with a heart and a brain and a stomach, the EMT wanted to eat a hot dog. She asked a coworker and a police officer if she could have one. The coworker said yes, but the officer allegedly said: “No.” She interpreted this as a joke, because what officer who would be so cruel as to deny a first responder a hot dog?
Apparently, this Memphis cop would. The EMT got her patient a wheelchair, then returned to the break room and grabbed the bun bag. As she did, the cop allegedly yelled, “Who told her she could go in the room and get a hot dog?” then slapped the bag out of her hand, grabbed her arms and shoved her, and yelled at her “to the point that their lips were touching.” He shoved her again, and eventually handcuffed her.
A supervisor eventually entered the break room and asked if the EMT was under arrest—the officer said no, and she was released. The EMT had her injuries evaluated at the trauma center and filed a report against the officer. He’s currently under investigation.
A search of the city of Memphis municipal codes yielded one result for the search term “hot dog,” in a subsection defining a “mobile food market.” In it, hot dogs are mentioned separately from cold and hot sandwiches. So, legally, in Memphis, a hot dog is not a sandwich, though perhaps it’s in the statute where you can be allegedly handcuffed for. In any case, let this be our official Takeout declaration: yes, there’s such a thing as being too fired up about hot dogs.