Sun. Jun 9th, 2024

Tyre Nichols: DOJ investigates Memphis man’s arrest, death

By Adrian Sainz source

The U.S. Justice Department has opened a civil rights investigation into the arrest of Tyre Nichols, who died days after a confrontation with Memphis Department Police Officers during a traffic stop, officials said Wednesday.

Photo taken on Aug. 11, 2022 shows the U.S. Department of Justice building in Washington, D.C., the United States. The U.S. Department of Justice DOJ filed a motion on Thursday to unseal the search warrant for former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-La
Photo taken on Aug. 11, 2022 shows the U.S. Department of Justice building in Washington, D.C., the United States. The U.S. Department of Justice DOJ filed a motion on Thursday to unseal the search warrant for former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-La

The U.S. attorney’s office released a statement saying the FBI’s field office in Memphis and the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department are investigating the use of force used by police during Nichols’ Jan. 7 arrest.

The arrest and death of Nichols, 29, already has sparked separate investigations by Memphis police and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Nichols’ family, and protesters who have rallied at a police station and the National Civil Rights Museum, have pushed for the release of police body camera footage and have called for officers to face charges.

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Relatives have accused police of beating Nichols and causing him to have a heart attack. Authorities have said Nichols, who was Black, experienced a medical emergency.

Nichols was arrested after officers stopped him for reckless driving, police said. There was a confrontation as officers approached the driver, and he ran before he was confronted again by the pursuing officers, who arrested him, authorities said. He complained of shortness of breath and was hospitalized. Officials said a cause of death has not yet been determined.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the state’s police agency, said Nichols died Jan. 10. The agency is conducting a use-of-force investigation at the request of Shelby County District Attorney General Steve Mulroy.

Relatives have said that the officers who pulled over Nichols were in an unmarked vehicle and that he experienced cardiac arrest and kidney failure because of a beating by officers.

Memphis Police Director Cerelyn “CJ” Davis said Sunday that the department was serving notice to the officers involved concerning policy violations. The statement did not indicate how many officers were involved.

Davis and Mayor Jim Strickland said Tuesday that video footage of the arrest will be released after the police department’s investigation is completed and the family can review it.

The police department’s internal investigation will be completed by the end of this week, and city leaders are arranging a meeting early next week with the family of Nichols, according to a joint statement from both Strickland and Davis.

RELATED: Man convicted in Ahmaud Arbery murder moved to Georgia medical prison

After initially declining comment on the Justice Department’s investigation, the city of Memphis sent out a statement late Wednesday afternoon saying it will fully cooperate with the federal agencies conducting the probe. Memphis’ police department did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

At a memorial service for Nichols on Tuesday, family and friends remembered him as a joyful, lovable man who worked making boxes at FedEx, enjoyed skateboarding and regularly drank coffee and chatted with friends at Starbucks. Some of those in attendance wore T-shirts that read “Justice for Tyre,” and “Skate in Peace.”

Relatives said Nichols was from California and moved to Memphis about a year ago. He had two brothers and a sister, relatives said.

Nichols’ stepfather, Rodney Wells, said during the service that Nichols’ supporters want the officers involved in the arrest to be charged with first-degree murder.

“We’re not going down without a fight,” Wells said.


Attorneys: Police beat Tyre Nichols for three minutes

An attorney for the family of a Black man who died at a hospital,
three days after a confrontation with police during a traffic stop,
says video of the encounter shows it was “violent” and “troublesome on every level !

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — An attorney for the family of a Black man who died at a hospital three days after a confrontation with police during a traffic stop said Monday that video of the encounter shows it was “violent” and “troublesome on every level.”

Attorney Ben Crump said during a news conference that the footage of Tyre Nichols’ Jan. 7 arrest “is appalling. It is deplorable. It is heinous.”

Crump, who viewed the video along with Nichols’ family and their other lawyers earlier Monday, said it reminded them of the infamous video of the Los Angeles police beating of Rodney King.

“Regrettably, it reminded us of Rodney king video. … And unlike Rodney King, Tyre didn’t survive,” he said.

Another of the family’s attorneys, Antonio Romanucci, said the beating of Nichols lasted three minutes.

“He was a human piñata for those police officers,” said Romanucci.

Crump said the authorities won’t release the video to the public for a week or two, but that it will be released.

Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy issued a statement investigators don’t want the release of the video to the public yet because they don’t want to risk compromising the investigation.

Nichols, a 29-year-old father, FedEx worker and avid skateboarder, died Jan. 10 at a hospital, authorities said.

Memphis Police Department Director Cerelyn “CJ” Davis announced Friday that five officers involved in the arrest were fired after the police probe determined that they used excessive force or failed to intervene and render aid.

Nichols’ family, protesters and activists have called for the video’s release and for the officers to be charged with murder.

The officers have been identified as Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr. and Justin Smith. All five are Black.

Relatives have accused police of beating Nichols and causing him to have a heart attack. Authorities have only said that Nichols experienced a medical emergency. The U.S. Justice Department has opened a civil rights investigation into the arrest, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is looking into whether excessive force was used.

City and community leaders have expressed concern about the possibility of civil unrest following the video’s release.

State Rep. Antonio Parkinson, a Memphis Democrat, said the predominantly Black city has been on edge since the arrest, which he called “horrific and senseless.”

“The release of the tape may certainly aggravate the feelings of hurt, sorrow and embarrassment that we are all feeling,” Parkinson said. “However, the need for transparency is vitally important in all cases of police involved deaths.”

Sierra Rogers, holding her daughter Khloe Rogers, 1, wipes away tears as she speaks during a memorial service for her friend Tyre Nichols, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, in Memphis, Tenn. (Mark Weber/Daily Memphian via AP)
Sierra Rogers, holding her daughter Khloe Rogers, 1, wipes away tears as she speaks during a memorial service for her friend Tyre Nichols, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, in Memphis, Tenn. (Mark Weber/Daily Memphian via AP)

Van Turner, president of the Memphis chapter of the NAACP, also acknowledged that Memphis appears tense as it waits for the video. But he praised the city and the police department for taking “quick action” in firing the officers.

“We will continue to monitor and support a fair and just resolution to this matter,” Turner said. “We join the call for peaceful protests as we all work towards making sure that proper measures are put in place to prevent this type of incident from occurring in the future.”

Turner also said that the potential for unrest could be higher if the officers who were involved were white.

“If the video is significantly more egregious than what we have seen, then the unrest could still be there,” Turner said.

Nichols was arrested after officers stopped him for reckless driving, police said. In a news release the day after his arrest, the police department said that as officers approached the vehicle, “a confrontation occurred’ and he ran. It said officers caught up to him and that ”another confrontation occurred” while they were taking him into custody. Police said he complained of shortness of breath and was hospitalized.

Officials said a cause of death has not been determined.

Relatives have said the officers who pulled over Nichols were in an unmarked vehicle and that he experienced cardiac arrest and kidney failure from the officers beating him.

Crump and Romanucci issued a statement Friday saying they support the department’s decision to fire the officers.

“This is the first step towards achieving justice for Tyre and his family. They must also be held accountable for robbing this man of his life and his son of a father,” they said.

The attorneys said they “will continue to demand transparency and accountability” and plan to review video footage to seek additional clarity about the circumstances that led to Nichols’ death. The lawyers planned a news conference for later Monday with the family.

As for the timing of the video’s release to the public, Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy said the law “places limits on such video release, and that we have to make sure we do so without compromising our ability to arrive at justice in this case.”

“I ask for your patience as we gather all necessary information so that we don’t compromise the investigation or any possible future prosecution,” Mulroy said in a statement.

The Nichols case is the latest high-profile death case to rattle the city. Since November 2021, Memphis has seen the fatal shooting of rapper Young Dolph in a daytime ambush at a bakery; a crime rampage in which a man has been charged with fatally shooting three people and wounding three others; the killing of a United Methodist Church pastor during a carjacking in her driveway; and the early-morning kidnapping of a jogger whose body was later found near a house.

Follow Adrian Sainz on Twitter: https://twitter.com/asainz22


‘We will see what they did to Tyre’ | Family asks for patience, recounts ‘horrific’ & ‘appalling’ video of confrontation with MPD

“We are going to get justice for Tyre, if that’s the last breath I take,” said RowVaughn Wells, Tyre Nichols’ mother.

MEMPHIS, Tenn — The Shelby County District Attorney’s office said the release of video footage of the arrest of Tyre Nichols, which led to five Memphis Police officers being fired after Nichols died in the hospital, could come “this week or next.”

Relatives of Tyre Nichols met with city officials Monday morning to view video footage of the Jan. 7 arrest, according to attorney Ben Crump, who is representing the family.

During a news conference at Mt. Olive Cathedral CME Church Monday afternoon, Crump said they would not get into too many details because the investigation was ongoing, but they saw multiple videos.

“We will see what they did to Tyre,” said Crump as he asked activists to be patient for one to two weeks for the video, to allow the family “to get what they want most, which is justice.”

What Tyre’s parents said about the video of his arrest

Rodney Wells, Nichols’ stepfather, asked first if there were any protests, for them to be peaceful. Wells called the video “horrific”, saying, “No father, mother, should have to witness what I saw today.” Wells continued talking of Tyre, saying “my son was a great, great kid. He didn’t deserve what he got. Now what he deserves is justice.” Wells also said justice for them is nothing short of “murder one. Anything less than that we will not accept.”

He said, “Our son ran because he was scared for his life. He wasn’t running because he had drugs he was trying to get a rid or had a gun. I want to get that out there of ‘why did he run?’ He ran because he was trying to get home (safely).”

Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells, said “my son really was a good boy.” She said skateboarding was his passion, and he would want to skate every day. She called him a beautiful soul, and said he didn’t mind being in Memphis after the pandemic because he was “with his mom.” She said Nichols was less than 80 yards away “when they murdered him.” His mom said her son died on Jan. 7, but doctors “pulled the plug” on Jan. 10.

“My son was a wonderful soul. He received a tremendous outpouring of support from FedEx, despite working there for only nine months. Tyre will never walk through that door and say ‘hello parents’ because that’s what he would do. I’ll never hear that again,” said his mother.

“I hate the fact that us as Black people, we out here killing each other. I don’t know why? We have the police killing us? I don’t know why… What happened to the humanity and kindness? What happened to it all?” said RowVaughn Wells. “We are going to get justice for Tyre, if that’s the last breath I take.”

Nichols was “kicked, tased, pepper-sprayed and restrained” in the video

Crump called the video “appalling, deplorable, heinous, violent, and very troublesome on every level.” He said it is “evidence of what happens to Black and Brown people because of simple traffic stops.” He said, “We have to ask America: how would you treat our White brother and sisters in a traffic stop? Then treat our Black and Brown citizens the same way.”

Crump said Chief Davis told them she “was not proud of what they were about to see” in the video. He said “regrettably,” it reminded them of Rodney King video.

He asked the community to keep the family in their prayers, especially Nichols’ mother, who keeps asking, “Why my baby? Why my baby?”

Attorney Antonio Romanucci said Nichols was “defenseless” and a “human piñata” for police officers, and said Nichols was beaten for three minutes. “It was unabashed, nonstop beating. That is what is going to show up in that video,” said Romanucci.

He called the beating “savage.” He said the officers were in unmarked cars, and wanted to know why they are conducting traffic stops. “Let’s call this what it is; this is a racist traffic stop… These police officers knew it in their mind they could get away with this.”

Romanucci said Nichols was defenseless, and was kicked in the video. Crump then said Nichols was tased, pepper-sprayed and restrained as the MPD officers were arresting him.

Romanucci also asked everyone to exercise patience until the video comes out, “then you can be your own judge.”

He said they will move forward with civil litigation and their own investigation. “Not only are we looking for justice, we are looking for changes. We are looking for policy changes,” said Romanucci.

Crump said during the video, Nichols said, “I just wanna go home.” He said in the last words on the video, Nichols called out “mom” three times, while only about 80 yards from his home.

Van Turner spoke during the news conference, and said the question becomes “why does this keep occurring again and again, and what can we do to keep this from happening?”

Turner said they are working to make sure police policy is followed, especially policies put into place after situations like George Floyd’s death.

Following the news conference, Crump and Romanucci issued the following statement: “Today, with the family of Tyre Nichols, we saw with our own eyes the disgusting way in which he lost his life at the hands of Memphis police. Tyre was brutalized by Memphis police, much like how Rodney King was beaten more than thirty years ago –– but unlike Rodney, Tyre lost his life from this violent attack. How are we here again so many years later? These former officers must face the consequences of taking this young man’s life and robbing his family of their loved one –– justice is the only path forward.”

 

What city officials are saying about Tyre Nichols’ death

The Shelby County District Attorney’s Office released this statement after meeting with the family Monday morning: “Earlier today, we met with the family of Tyre Nichols— who have now seen the video. Transparency is a priority for the DA’s Office, and we understand the public’s desire for immediate release. However, it’s important that the release does not compromise the investigation.

We’re working with the TBI and FBI to expedite that investigation and are consulting regularly with the City of Memphis about the video’s release, which we expect will occur this week or next.”

In a statement to social media following the meeting with the family, Memphis Police said “The Memphis Police Department & City Administration met with the family of Tyre Nichols this morning to facilitate the viewing of video recordings.

The Memphis Police Department is fully cooperating with the criminal investigation being conducted by the US Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and the Shelby County District Attorney General’s Office.

‘Transparency remains a priority in this incident, and a premature release could adversely impact the criminal investigation and the judicial process. We are working with the District Attorney’s Office to determine the appropriate time to release the video recordings publicly,’ said Chief Cerelyn Davis.”

Mayor Jim Strickland and MPD Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis said previously video of the arrest would be released after the conclusion of an internal police investigation and after Nichols’ family has seen it, but the exact timing wasn’t immediately clear.

Nichols, a 29-year-old father, FedEx worker and avid skateboarder, died Jan. 10, authorities said.

His family, protesters and activists have called for the video’s release and for the officers to be charged with murder. Davis announced Friday that five officers involved in the arrest were fired after the police probe determined that they used excessive force or failed to intervene and render aid.

The officers have been identified as Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr. and Justin Smith. All five are Black.

Justin Smith, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr, Demetrius Haley, and Tadarrius Bean were fired by Memphis Police Depart for their role in the death of Tyre Nichols

Relatives have accused police of beating Nichols and causing him to have a heart attack. Authorities have only said that Nichols experienced a medical emergency. The U.S. Justice Department has opened a civil rights investigation into the arrest, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is looking into whether excessive force was used.


Attorneys: Autopsy shows Tyre Nichols suffered ‘extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating’

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — An independent autopsy indicated that Tyre Nichols suffered “extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating”, according to attorneys representing his family.

Nichols died on Jan. 10 after he was involved in a traffic stop that left him critically injured three days earlier. Five Memphis police officers involved in his arrest were fired.

Attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci confirmed the findings Tuesday in a statement saying:

“On January 23, 2023, our legal team had its own independent autopsy performed on the body of Tyre Nichols by a highly regarded, nationally renowned forensic pathologist. We can state that preliminary findings indicate Tyre suffered extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating, and that his observed injuries are consistent with what the family and attorneys witnessed on the video of his fatal encounter with police on January 7, 2023. Further details and findings from this independent report will be disclosed at another time.”

The news comes as the Department of Justice, FBI, TBI and district attorney’s office continue their investigation. At the request of the investigating agencies, the video of the incident will be released to the public in one to two weeks.

by:  source


Independent autopsy shows Tyre Nichols ‘suffered extensive bleeding caused by severe beating,’ attorneys say

Sierra Rogers, holding her daughter Khloe Rogers, 1, wipes away tears as she speaks during a memorial service for her friend Tyre Nichols, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, in Memphis, Tenn. (Mark Weber/Daily Memphian via AP)

 

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – Nationally renowned civil rights and personal injury attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci have issued a statement on preliminary findings in the independent autopsy of Tyre Nichols, who died after an encounter with Memphis police.

Nichols died on Jan. 10, days after he was involved in a traffic stop conducted by the Memphis Police Department that left him critically injured. Nichols fled the traffic stop scene, and the police began to chase him. Police brutalized him to the point of being unrecognizable.

Attorneys for the family issued the following statement:

“On January 23, 2023, our legal team had its own independent autopsy performed on the body of Tyre Nichols by a highly regarded, nationally renowned forensic pathologist. We can state that preliminary findings indicate Tyre suffered extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating, and that his observed injuries are consistent with what the family and attorneys witnessed on the video of his fatal encounter with police on January 7, 2023. Further details and findings from this independent report will be disclosed at another time.”

source

 


Police radio traffic holds clues in Tyre Nichols case

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — As we wait for the video footage of what happened to be released to the public, police radio traffic holds clues as to what led to the brutal arrest of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols.

You can hear some of the tense moments that ultimately led to Nichols’ death and the firing of five officers. Two Memphis firefighters were also relieved of duty while the investigation is underway.

Memphis Police say they initially pulled Nichols over for reckless driving, around 8:30 the night of January 7 at East Raines and Ross Roads. His family says he was on his way home, and the initial stop was less than half a mile from his house.

“Any other Scorpion car pull over to East Raines and Ross. We have one running on foot,” one officer was heard saying on radio traffic from Broadcastify obtained by WREG.

An officer asks for a perimeter to be set up.

“Run that tag, see the address,” an officer says.

Officers realize Nichols lives close by. It sounds as if some kind of chase has started.

“[Inaudible]… at Ross and Castlegate Lane, he’s fighting at this time.”

What happens over the course of the interactions and confrontations as described by police is sparsely documented on the radio.

“Taser was deployed as well,” one officer said.

Police dispatch from the moments of Tyre Nichols’ confrontation with officers

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — FOX13 News has obtained police dispatch audio from the day investigators said officers had two confrontations with Tyre Nichols, 29.  Here is a transcript of the dispatch audio:

“2933, we have one black male running.”

“2938, you still have eyes on that subject?”

“Any other Scorpion units pull over to east Raines and Ross.”

“Any other scorpion units pull over to east Raines and Ross. We have one running on foot.”

“Run that tag and see its address.”

“Be advised the subject lives at —- Castlegate.”

“Show me at —- and ——-.””At Ross and Castlegate Lane.  He’s fighting at this time.”

“Does the fire department need to come back down to you or are you bringing him back down?”

“Check … they’re on their way now.”

The duration of the police dispatch audio pertaining to the incident involving Nichols goes on for nearly 10 minutes.

Attorneys for the Nichols family said the police confrontation in which they viewed between officers and Tyre Nichols lasted for approximately three minutes.

It’s then assumed Nichols spent seven minutes running from police officers.


Tyre Nichols: Memphis police body cam video of traffic stop is ‘appalling,’ attorney says after review

An attorney described Tyre Nichols as ‘a human pinata’ in body camera footage showing his encounter with Memphis police

 

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump on Monday described body camera footage showing a Jan. 7 traffic stop involving deceased Tyre Nichols, who died three days after his encounter with Memphis police, as “appalling” and “heinous” after reviewing the video with Nichols’ family.

“It is appalling. It is deplorable. It is heinous. It is violent,” Crump said of the footage, likening it to video of Rodney King, a Black man who was beaten by police in the 1990s.

MPD initially pulled over Nichols, 29, on Jan. 7 around 8:30 p.m. for “reckless driving” near Raines Road and Ross Road in Memphis, according to a press release MPD published on Jan. 8.

A portrait of Tyre Nichols is displayed at a memorial service for him on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023 in Memphis, Tenn. Nichols was killed during a traffic stop with Memphis Police on Jan. 7. (AP Photo/Adrian Sainz)

“While attempting to take the suspect into custody, another confrontation occurred; however, the suspect was ultimately apprehended,” MPD said in the press release. “Afterward the suspect complained of having shortness of breath, at which point an ambulance was called to the scene.”

Authorities transported Nichols to St. Francis Hospital in critical condition, and the 28-year-old died three days later on Jan. 10, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), which is investigating the incident.

Nichols’ family believes 28-year-old died as a result of officers’ actions on that day.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump likened police-worn body camera footage of Tyre Nichols to that of Rodney King in the 1990s.

“He was defenseless the entire time. He was a human piñata for those police officers. It was an unadulterated, unabashed beating of this young boy for three minutes. … Not only was it violent. It was savage,” another attorney in Crump’s firm stated during the conference as Nichols’ mother could be heard crying in the background.

Skateboarders skate in front of city hall in remembrance of Tyre Nichols, who died after being beaten by Memphis police officers, five of whom have been fired, in Memphis, Tenn., Monday, Jan. 23, 2023.  (Gerald Herbert)

“He loved his son. Everything he was trying to do was to better himself as a father for his 4-year-old son,” the civil rights attorney said.

On Jan. 20, MPD announced the termination of five police officers involved in the incident for violating “multiple department policies, including excessive use of force, duty to intervene, and duty to render aid,” MPD Chief CJ Davis said in a press release at the time.

The five officers who were fired as a result of violating MPD policies include Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith. All five officers were hired between 2017 and 2020.

On Jan. 20, MPD announced the termination of five police officers involved in the incident for violating “multiple department policies, including excessive use of force, duty to intervene, and duty to render aid,” MPD Chief CJ Davis said in a press release at the time. (MPD)

Crump said during Monday’s press conference that the race of the officers involved is not as significant as the race of the victim.

“It is not the race of the police officer that is the determinable factor of the amount of excessive force that is being exerted. It is the race of the citizen,” the civil rights attorney said. “We have to have accountability no matter who tramples on the Constitution of rights for our citizens.”

The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division also opened an investigation into the incident on Jan. 18.

“As this is an open investigation, we are not able to provide additional comment or release further information at this time,” U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee Kevin Ritz said in a statement at the time.

MPD is expected to release the body camera footage in the near future.

 

 

 


Tyre Nichols’ family, lawyer Ben Crump speak after seeing ‘appalling’ footage from arrest

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Almost two weeks after Tyre Nichols died at a hospital, city officials sat down with Nichols’ family to watch footage of five Memphis Police Department officers during the traffic stop that happened three days before his death.

The family, flanked by civil rights attorney Ben Crump, attorney Antonio Romanucci, and Memphis mayoral candidate Van Turner, who is also the president the of NAACP’s Memphis branch, held a press conference during which Crump called the video “appalling.”

“It is deplorable. It is heinous,” Crump said. “It is very troublesome on every level.”

What happened to Tyre Nichols?

Nichols died Jan. 10, three days after he was hospitalized following a traffic stop with Memphis police. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation was called to investigate the officers’ “use of force” and the FBI, Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney’s Office are investigating the incident for potential civil rights violations.

According to police, officers from the Memphis Police Department pulled over Nichols, who has no criminal record, around 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 7 for a traffic violation. After what police described as two “confrontations,” Nichols was arrested and “complained of a shortness of breath.”

He was taken to St. Francis Hospital in critical condition. Nichols died in the hospital.

Nichols’ family calls video ‘horrific’

Nichols’ father, Rodney Wells, said during a press conference the family wants the officers charged with “murder one.” Wells said he believed his son ran from police because he was afraid for his life.

“What I saw on that video today was horrific. No father or mother should have to see that,” Wells said.


Shelby Co. DA Steve Mulroy weighs in on Tyre Nichols’ death investigation

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It’s been more than a week — eight days to be exact — since the death of Tyre Nichols, the 29-year-old who Memphis Police said had a confrontation with officers.

Since then, there’s been protests, outcry and now, the federal government is stepping in.

“I want to assure the public that we take this kind of case very seriously, we understand what’s at stake, we understand the public importance of it and we are committed to being as transparent as we can as quickly as we can,” said Mulroy.

The two biggest questions: When will the body camera footage be released? And will his office be the one to prosecute the officers?

“With that in mind, let me just tell you that I originally decided during the campaign and shortly after I took office that when we had officer-involved fatalities, the appropriate course was to get an independent prosecutor. In the first two instances in my tenure, I did precisely that. I went to the TN DA’s conference, a statewide entity, and asked for what’s called a pro-tem appointment of an independent prosecutor, but sadly, because there’s been so many officer-involved fatality cases happening so rapidly, I decided to come up with a different process,” he said.

That different process he’s referring to is to turn to his Justice Review Unit, which was just launched last month.

It consists of Lorna McCluskey and Rob Gowan, two longtime Memphis defense attorneys.

“This is the unit that’s primary responsibility is to look back at our own work in our DA’s office and see if there’s been wrongful convictions or wrongful sentences but I’ve also decided to give them this responsibility as well to make a recommendation based on the TBI investigation in officer involved fatality cases as to whether a prosecution of the involved officers is warranted,” he said.

As for how many officers, Mulroy would not confirm the number of officers or any of the findings from the city investigation, which Mayor Jim Strickland says was completed over the weekend.

But he said once a hearing happens later this week, we can expect to see the video soon after.

“We’re currently thinking that sometime next week might work but we don’t want to guarantee anything because there’s still an ongoing investigation but if all goes well, then something along that timeframe I think is possible,” he said.

Mulroy said there are a handful of reasons why the video has not been released yet.

“There’s a danger that a witness that we want to get the unfiltered truth from may either adapt their testimony based on what they’ve seen or end up having their memory tampered so they end up testifying or talking about what they saw on the video rather than what they saw with their own eyes,” he said.

Another reason, according to Mulroy, is because legally, they have to redact any information from civilians who may or may not be in the video or any reports.

When asked about whether or not the video will be edited or released in its entirety, Mulroy said that’s the plan.

“My strong belief is that if there’s going to be a release of the video, then it needs to be everything, not selected excerpts, and it should be released without comment,” he said. “We don’t want to prejudice anyone involved in the investigation or any potential defendant if there ever is one.”

Mulroy also confirmed he has seen the video himself.

“I can tell you that I’ve seen it, but I can’t really speak to anything else, I think it would be improper to comment on the particular investigation,” he said.

“The Memphis Police Department is fully cooperating with the criminal investigation being conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office. ‘Transparency remains a priority in this incident, and the premature release could adversely impact the criminal investigation and the judicial process. We are working with the District Attorney’s Office to determine the appropriate time to release video recording publicly,” said Chief Cerelyn Davis.

“Earlier today, we met with the family of Tyre Nichols — who have now seen the video. Transparency is a priority for the DA’s Office, and we understand the public’s desire for immediate release,” Mulroy said in a statement. “However, it’s important that the release does not compromise the investigation. We’re working with the TBI and FBI to expedite that investigation and are consulting regularly with the City of Memphis about the video’s release, which we expect will occur this week or next.”

Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy issued a similar statement, saying that the Nichols family has seen the video but that releasing the video publicly could hamper authorities’ investigation into those officers’ actions.

source


5 officers fired after investigation in death of man

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — On Friday, Memphis Police Department announced the five officers involved in the arrest of Tyre Nichols have been fired: Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith.

The arrest of Nichols, 29, brought national scrutiny to the department and the city after the incident resulted in the man’s hospitalization and eventual death.

In a statement, MPD wrote:

“The Memphis Police Department has concluded its administrative investigation into the tragic death of Mr. Tyre Nichols. After a thorough review of the circumstances surrounding this incident, we have determined that five MPD officers violated multiple department policies, including excessive use of force, duty to intervene, and duty to render aid.

Earlier today, each officer charged was terminated from the Memphis Police Department. The Memphis Police Department is committed to protecting and defending the rights of every citizen in our city. The egregious nature of this incident is not a reflection of the good work that our officers perform, with integrity, every day.”

Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy provided the following statement:

“We understand there are many questions from the public surrounding the Tyre Nichols case. Additionally, we’re aware of the reasonable requests to release video, which we are committed to doing as swiftly as possible. 

But we must reemphasize the law places limits on such video release, and that we have to make sure we do so without compromising our ability to arrive at justice in this case. Those who know me know I don’t take situations like this lightly and that I believe firmly in transparency. I ask for your patience as we gather all necessary information so that we don’t compromise the investigation or any possible future prosecution.”

What we know about the case

  • On Jan. 7, MPD says officers stopped Tyre Nichols for “reckless driving.” Police say as they approached him, a “confrontation” occurred, and he took off running. After a pursuit, officers claim another “confrontation” occurred before taking Nichols into custody.
  • Family says the second confrontation happened just yards from where he lived. The incident was also reportedly captured by a SkyCop camera.
  • Police say Nichols then complained of “shortness of breath” and was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
  • Nichols’ family says the incident made him go into cardiac arrest, left him with a broken neck and he suffered from other medical issues.
  • On Jan. 10he died in the hospital.

    Who is Tyre Nichols?

    He leaves behind a 4-year-old son.

    Family says he’s never been in trouble.

    He liked to take pictures and loved to skateboard. Friends wore “Skate in Peace” shirts to his memorial.

    • He was “infectious,” family said. The type of guy that “everywhere he went, he left an impact.” They say he had a “pure soul” and loved helping people.
    • He worked at FedEx. The company released a statement and said, “We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of our team member.”

      Who’s investigating?

      • Shelby County District Attorney General Steve Mulroy immediately asked the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to conduct an independent investigation into the use of force by Memphis police officers.
      • On Jan. 9, his office sent an email stating they plan “to publish the redacted results on the SCDAG website when the findings are complete.”
      • On Jan. 15, Police Chief C.J. Davis and Mayor Jim Strickland released a joint statement stating the officers involved in the incident have been served notice of “impending administrative action.” Davis also stated she reviewed “various sources of information involving this incident.”
      • On Jan. 16, Nichols’ family retained civil rights attorney Ben Crump. He stated, “all of the available information tells us that this was the tragic and preventable death of a young man deeply beloved by his family and community.” He added, “nobody should die from a simple traffic stop,” and the footage is the “only way to discern the true narrative.”
      • On Jan. 17, the city issued a statement saying the video would be released publicly after the completion of the internal investigation into the actions of the officers and after Nichols’ family has had the opportunity to review it privately. They have not said what type of video from the incident exists, but that they are arranging to meet with Nichols’ family next week.
      • On Jan. 18, United States Attorney Kevin G. Ritz announced the U.S. Attorney’s Office in coordination with the FBI and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice opened a civil rights investigation into Nichols’ death.

5 Memphis police officers fired in death of Tyre Nichols

Five Memphis police officers who were involved in the arrest of Tyre Nichols – who died three days after a traffic stop earlier this month – have been fired, the department announced Friday.

The five officers were dismissed following an “internal investigation” which determined that they “violated multiple department policies, including excessive force, duty to intervene, and duty to render aid,” Memphis Police Chief C.J. Davis said in a statement.

The five officers were identified by the department as Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith.

On Jan. 7, the 29-year-old Nichols, who is Black, was arrested after officers stopped him for reckless driving, police said.

There was a confrontation as officers approached the driver, and he ran before he was confronted again by the pursuing officers, who arrested him, authorities said. He complained of shortness of breath and was hospitalized. Officials said a cause of death has not yet been determined.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the state’s police agency, said Nichols died Jan. 10. The agency is conducting a use-of-force investigation at the request of Shelby County District Attorney General Steve Mulroy.

he five officers who were fired are all Black, according to a Memphis Police public information officer.

Federal authorities announced Wednesday they were launching a civil rights investigation into the actions of Memphis police.

Relatives have said that the officers who pulled over Nichols were in an unmarked vehicle and that he experienced cardiac arrest and kidney failure because of a beating by officers.

Davis and Mayor Jim Strickland said Tuesday that video footage of the arrest will be released after the police department’s investigation is completed and the family can review it.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hTGxseMJL4

 

Sierra Rogers, holding her daughter Khloe Rogers, 1, wipes away tears as she speaks during a memorial service for her friend Tyre Nichols, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, in Memphis, Tenn. (Mark Weber/Daily Memphian via AP)