MEMPHIS, Tenn. — No criminal charges will be filed against Memphis Police officers in the fatal shooting of Jaylin McKenzie in 2022.
Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy made the announcement at a press conference Tuesday.
McKenzie, 20, died on Cochese Avenue in Parkway Village following a car chase and foot chase on Dec. 16. Officers were patrolling a retail complex to combat smash-and-grab thefts when they spotted a suspicious white Infiniti in the parking lot after the businesses were closed, and they pursued.
Mulroy released body camera video of the incident Sept. 12.
Mulroy said McKenzie was holding an assault rifle when he was initially confronted by officers, but fired a handgun twice during the chase.
“The video footage confirms that Mr. McKenzie was holding an assault rifle when officers first confronted him and that he disobeyed officers orders to stop, instead running away. Although he did drop the assault rifle,” Mulroy said. “The ballistics evidence confirms that Mr. McKenzie did indeed fire his weapon twice and would likely have done so a third time, had his gun, his handgun not jammed.”
No officers were injured.
While criminal charges will not be pursued, Mulroy said he sent a letter to Police Chief C.J. Davis with concerns about the way the incident was handled by MPD officers.
A total of five officers were part of the DA’s office investigation. Mulroy said two officers violated MPD policies by engaging in a high speed chase for a traffic violation.
“And continuing that chase despite having an inoperable siren,” he said.
He also said a supervising officer who arrived on scene following the shooting failed to separate the two officers initially involved.
“Instead, he deliberately placed them in the same patrol car by themselves for several hours. This allowed them to discuss the facts of the case together in violation of MPD policy,” Mulroy said.
Mulroy also said there were some discrepancies in officers statements about the incident.
MPD released a statement Tuesday afternoon providing more details into their administrative investigation.
They said the reason to conduct the pursuit was not a violation, but the officers, identified as rookie Nahume Dorme and veteran Christopher Jackson, did not tell their supervisor, Lieutenant Mark Gilbertson, about it or activate their siren.
MPD also said Gilbertson separated the officers from the public but did not separate Dorme and Jackson.
Dorme received a written reprimand for administrative violations of body worn camera and vehicle pursuit policy and has to have refresher training about both policies.
Jackson also received a reprimand for violation of vehicle pursuit policy and have to have refresher training.
Gilbertson received an oral admonishment for violating response to resistance and will have a refresher in critical incident management training.