MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — Almost one month to the day after the police beating of Tyre Nichols, the mayor of Memphis says he’s standing behind Police Chief C.J. Davis, who has been praised by some for her response to the incident.
The City of Memphis said Tuesday seven more police employees are under investigation in relation to the case. WREG asked Mayor Jim Strickland why more names are being added to the list and where the investigation stands.
“We’re taking this very seriously and we’re investigating everyone who was on the scene, employment wise and did they follow employment regulations,” Strickland said.
In documents also released this week by the state, it was revealed as Tyre Nichols sat propped against a police car bloodied and handcuffed after being beaten, former officer Demetrius Haley took a picture of him and sent it to at least five people.
“It’s tragic. It’s senseless and that’s just another example of why and it’s just the callousness it would display, but I’m thankful that we acted quickly and these individuals were fired,” Mayor Strickland said.
On Tuesday, Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis was grilled by city council members about why the names of all the officers have not been made public and her handling of the investigation.
We asked Mayor Strickland if he feels Davis is still the right person for the job.
“Absolutely, 100 percent. She’s the one who acted so quickly that Mr. Crump (Civil Rights attorney representing Tyre Nichols’ family) who’s seen these incidents all over the country says that was a model for the country,” he said.
As for the controversial SCORPION Unit, which five of the officers charged in the case were a part of, it’s now been disbanded.
The mayor said training was not the issue.
“These specialized units get even more training on a regular basis. I don’t think our issue is with training, but again we’re going to have this outside group come in and look at everything including that,” Strickland said.
As the nation watched the parents of Tyre Nichols at the State of the Union address, the mayor said he supports the president’s call for police reform.
“I agree with those sentiments. Our number one goal, especially after meeting Tyre’s parents, is justice for Tyre and that’s been our number one focus,” Strickland said.
Mayor Strickland also said MPD was actually reformed in 2020 when it added the duty to intervene as a protocol. He said, “had the officers followed the duty to intervene, maybe something could have been different with the outcome of Tyre.”
Watch the full Live at 9 interview with Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland in the player below.