Mon. Mar 27th, 2023

5 MPD officers terminated after department concludes Tyre Nichols death investigation

By Lydian Kennin and Bria Bolden

Five Memphis police officers have been terminated following the completion of an administrative investigation into the death of Tyre Nichols.

After a thorough review of the circumstances surrounding this incident, we have determined that the five (5) MPD officers violated multiple department policies, including excessive use of force, duty to intervene, and duty to render aid.

Memphis Police Department

Nichols died Jan. 10 following a traffic stop with Memphis police. Federal investigators completed their first full day of looking into the case Thursday.

Nichols’ family is scheduled to view the body cam footage for the first time Monday, according to the family’s attorney Benjamin Crump.

Both Crump and attorney Antonio Romanucci issued the following statement in response to the officers’ termination Friday night:

“We join Tyre’s family in supporting the Department’s decision to terminate the five officers who brutalized him, ultimately causing his death. 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. In the coming days, we will review the video footage from this violent attack…providing the family and community more clarity into what led to the loss of this young man, father, and son. We will continue to demand transparency and accountability in this case, and will not stop until we achieve full justice for Tyre and his family.”

Former Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell commended the police department on its investigation, saying MPD made the right decision.

“These are serious incidents, and our police department has a burdening responsibility to look thoroughly at these things and to also reassure the public that we are on the right path of getting this resolved,” he said.

Civil rights attorney Walter Bailey agrees.

“They’ve taken the right step, and you’ve got to bear in mind, if the city indicated that in any kind of way by tolerating this and not taking a major step, the city itself could be exposed under the civil rights act,” Bailey said.

Due to the ongoing criminal investigation, the Memphis Police Association will not comment on the termination of officers in the Tyre Nichols case. The citizens of Memphis, and more importantly, the family of Mr. Nichols deserve to know the complete account of the events leading up to his death and what may contributed to it.

Essica Cage-Rosario, Memphis Police Association

“This is a great first step in making sure that there is justice for Tyre Nichols,” said Tennessee Senator Raumesh Akbari. “Police brutality is unacceptable, no matter who is a victim and no matter who the officers are; and so I’m happy that they acted decisively and quickly, and I hope they sent a straw messaged that police brutality is unacceptable.”

Senator Akbari also released the following statement Friday night:

“It’s no secret Memphis police officers have a difficult job to do, but there is NO excuse for police brutality against our citizens. I am thankful Mayor Strickland and Chief Davis took decisive action. Right now, we should support anyone who is doing the work to make sure justice prevails. The only way forward, keeping our citizens safe, is to work together to build relationships and support reform that stops police brutality. Folks, we have work to do to bridge divides and heal the wounds in our community. It’s the hard work that must be done. I am praying for Tyre Nichols and his family, as well as our community in hopes that this does not happen again.”

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