Tire Nichols: 5 Memphis officers shot within the loss of life of a person who was hospitalized after being arrested
The Memphis Police Department has terminated five officers in connection with the death of Tire Nichols, who was arrested at a hospital earlier this month, according to a post on the department’s verified Twitter account.
“The enormity of this incident does not reflect the fine work our officers do with integrity every day,” Police Chief Cerleyn “CJ” Davis said in a statement.
Investigators working on an internal review of the arrest found officers had violated guidelines on the use of force, the duty to intervene and the duty to render assistance, the chief said.
The Nichols family have expressed their approval of the terminations, according to a statement from their attorneys.
“We join Tire’s family in supporting the Department’s decision to fire the five officers who brutally abused him and ultimately caused his death. This is the first step in bringing justice to Tire and his family,” said attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci. “They must also be held responsible for depriving this man of his life and his son a father.”
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating whether the officers’ actions were criminal in nature.
“Due to the ongoing criminal investigation, the Memphis Police Association will not comment on the firing of officers in the Tire Nichols case,” said the union representing the officers. “The citizens of Memphis, and more importantly, Mr. Nichols’ family, deserve to know the full account of the events leading up to his death and what may have contributed to it.”
The Justice Department and the FBI have also launched a civil rights investigation.
On January 8, the police department announced that officers had stopped a motorist for reckless driving the previous day. “When officers approached the driver of the vehicle, a confrontation ensued and the suspect fled the scene on foot,” officials said in a statement released on social media.
Officers pursued the suspect and attempted to take him into custody again when police said there was another confrontation before the suspect was arrested.
“The suspect then complained of shortness of breath, after which an ambulance was called to the scene. The suspect was transported to St. Francis Hospital in critical condition,” officials said.
The man, identified as Nichols, died a few days later, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
Details of the injuries Nichols sustained or the cause of his death have not been released. CNN has reached out to the Shelby County coroner.
On Tuesday, city officials said video footage from the officers’ body-worn cameras will be released publicly after the police department’s internal investigation is complete and the family has an opportunity to review the recordings.
Crump said Friday the family will have an opportunity to view the footage “in the coming days.” He and the family have scheduled a press conference for Monday afternoon.
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