MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis Police Department released a statement on Sunday regarding its internal investigation into the death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols, before the family announced it had retained a nationally known civil rights attorney in the case.
MPD said the department is “serving notice to officers involved in the case of Tyre Nichols of impending administrative action.” These statements come just over a week since Nichols was arrested.
Chief CJ Davis said, “After reviewing various sources of information involving this incident, I have found that it is necessary to take immediate and appropriate action. Today, the department is serving notice to the officers involved of the impending administrative actions.”
MPD said before they can discipline or terminate the employees, they must go through a required procedural process, which is expected to be completed later this week.
Mayor Jim Strickland also commented on the incident, saying, “While we must complete the investigation process, it is our top priority to ensure that swift justice is served. We want citizens to know that we are prepared to take immediate and appropriate actions based on what the findings determine.”
Officers say they pulled Nichols over for reckless driving on January 7.
They say as they approached his car, there was what they describe as a “confrontation” with Nichols, who took off running.
He was eventually caught, but before he was arrested, police say there was another confrontation. After he was arrested, he complained of having shortness of breath and was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
He later died from his injuries.
Kenyana Dixon is Nichols’ sister and claims her brother was pulled over by officers in unmarked vehicles, wearing hoodies, which says caused him to panic.
“I’m gone see this in my brain for the rest of my life to the day I die,” Dixon said. “If he did run, like I said, he was scared. He was scared. He had nothing on him. A traffic stop is supposed to be a traffic stop for anybody.”
Saturday, Nichols’ supporters said they want to see disciplinary actions happen.
“If there is any, which assume there will be, if there’s any police misconduct, we would like to see officers in this case charged, every last one of them,” said activist Paula Buress.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is also doing its own investigation into the use of force.
Monday, attorney Ben Crump said he had been retained b y the family in the case.
Crump issued the following statement:
“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. This kind of in-custody death destroys community trust if agencies are not swiftly transparent. The most effective way for the Memphis Police Department to be transparent with the grieving Nichols family and the Memphis community is to release the body camera and surveillance footage from the traffic stop. Nobody should ever die from a simple traffic stop – the footage is the only way to discern the true narrative of why and how that happened to Tyre.”