MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The death of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Memphis man, after a traffic stop turned into a confrontation with Memphis Police this month has brought national scrutiny to the department and the city.
On Jan. 20, five Memphis police officers were fired after the department concluded its investigation into the death of Tyre Nichols.
Here’s what we know about the case right now:
- On Jan. 7, MPD says officers stopped Tyre Nichols for “reckless driving” near Raines and Ross Road in Hickory Hill. Police say as they approached him, a “confrontation” occurred, and he took off running. After a pursuit, officers claim another “confrontation” occurred before taking Nichols into custody.
- Family says the second confrontation happened on Castlegate Lane, just yards from where he lived and under a SkyCop camera.
- Police say Nichols then complained of “shortness of breath” and was taken to St. Francis Hospital in critical condition.
- Nichols’ family says the incident made him go into cardiac arrest, left him with a broken neck and he suffered from other medical issues.
- On Jan. 10, he died in the hospital.
Who is Tyre Nichols?
- He is 29 years old. His family says he’s 6’4”, 145-150 lbs.
- He leaves behind a 4-year-old son.
- Family says he’s never been in trouble.
- He liked to take pictures and loved to skateboard. Friends wore “Skate in Peace” shirts to his memorial.
- He was “infectious,” family said. The type of guy that “everywhere he went, he left an impact.” They say he had a “pure soul” and loved helping people.
- He worked at FedEx. The company released a statement and said, “We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of our team member.”
Who is investigating?
- Shelby County District Attorney General Steve Mulroy immediately asked the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to conduct an independent investigation into the use of force by Memphis police officers.
- On Jan. 9, his office sent an email stating they plan “to publish the redacted results on the SCDAG website when the findings are complete.”
- On Jan. 15, Police Chief C.J. Davis and Mayor Jim Strickland released a joint statement stating the officers involved in the incident have been served notice of “impending administrative action.” Davis also stated she reviewed “various sources of information involving this incident.”
- On Jan. 16, Nichols’ family retained civil rights attorney Ben Crump. He stated, “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.” He added, “nobody should die from a simple traffic stop,” and the footage is the “only way to discern the true narrative.”
- On Jan. 17, the city issued a statement saying the video would be released publicly after the completion of the internal investigation into the actions of the officers and after Nichols’ family has had the opportunity to review it privately. They have not said what type of video from the incident exists, but that they are arranging to meet with Nichols’ family next week.
- On Jan. 18, United States Attorney Kevin G. Ritz announced the U.S. Attorney’s Office in coordination with the FBI and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice opened a civil rights investigation into the death of Tyre Nichols.
- The city says before it can discipline or terminate an employee, they must go through a required procedural process.
- Internal Affairs investigates “all complaints lodged against police personnel.”
- Memphis police said it’s working “quickly and appropriately” to go through the administrative disciplinary and investigative process. They expect the process to wrap up this week.
- Internal Affairs has gone back to the scene since the incident.
- Keep in mind, employees can appeal any decision made with the Civil Service Commission.