The Memphis Police Department has fired five officers in connection with the death of Tire Nichols, who died in a hospital after being arrested by police earlier this month, according to a departmental post. verified twitter account.
“The egregious nature of this incident is not a reflection of the good 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 prison found that officers violated policies on use of force, duty to intervene and duty to render aid, the chief said.
The Nichols family has expressed its approval of the terminations, according to a statement from their lawyers.
“We join Tire’s family in supporting the Department’s decision to fire the five officers who brutalized him, causing his death. This is the first step in getting justice for Tire and his family,” attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci said. “They must also be held accountable for stealing the life of this man and his son.”
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 termination of officers in the Tire Nichols case,” the union representing the officers said. “The citizens of Memphis and, more importantly, Mr. Nichols deserve to know the full account of the events leading up to his death and what may have contributed to it.”
In addition, the Department of Justice and the FBI have opened a civil rights investigation.
On January 8, the police department announced that officers pulled over a driver for reckless driving the day before. “When officers approached the driver of the vehicle, a confrontation ensued and the suspect fled the scene on foot,” authorities said in a statement. posted on social media.
Officers pursued the suspect and again tried to arrest him when another confrontation ensued before the suspect was apprehended, according to police.
“Later, the suspect complained of shortness of breath, at which point an ambulance was called to the scene. The suspect was transported to St. Francis in critical condition,” officials said.
The man, identified as Nichols, died a few days later, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
Details about the injuries suffered by Nichols or the cause of death were not released. CNN contacted the Shelby County coroner.
On Tuesday, city officials said the video recorded by the officers’ cameras will be released publicly after the police department’s internal investigation is completed and after the family has had a chance to review the recordings.
Crump said on Friday that the family will have a chance to see the footage “in the coming days”. He and his family had planned a press conference for Monday afternoon.
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