NASHVILLE—The Tennessee Bar Association will next week honor Marc Perrusquia with its Fourth Estate Award for his reporting on complaints of excessive use of force by the Memphis Police Department (MPD). The award will be presented June 18 during the Tennessee Bar Association’s annual convention in Memphis.
Following months of reporting by Perrusquia in the Daily Memphian, the MPD adopted critical reforms affecting use of force. Under those reforms, cases will be referred to the Shelby County District Attorney to weigh criminal charges instead of simply being treated as policy violations. In a second development aimed at improving transparency, MPD unveiled a new online dashboard offering a range of statistical data on police misconduct.
A long-time reporter at the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Perrusquia is currently the director of the Institute for Public Service Reporting at the University of Memphis, where graduate students learn investigative and explanatory journalism skills working alongside professionals. He has won numerous state and national awards for government watchdog, social justice and political reporting.

He is also the author of a Spy in Canaan which involved the FBI surveillance of Tennessee Tribune Publisher Rosetta Miller-Perry during the Civil Rights Movement in Memphis lead by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The TBA’s Fourth Estate Award was established to recognize and encourage journalists who promote public understanding of the rule of law and improvements in our system of justice through their vigorous exercise of their First Amendment rights. Previous winners include the Bristol Herald, the Nashville Scene’s Steven Hale and WSMV Channel 4’s I-Team.