Mayor Jim Strickland said the Justice Department will review Memphis’ police force after multiple officers were fired and charged with manslaughter in the death of Tyree Nichols last month.
“An independent, external review of these agencies will include a review of MPD’s special units and use of force policies,” Strickland wrote in a bulletin Friday.
“While we have no doubt that there is a path to healing, hopefully through our actions, citizens will see that we are working to become better and that we are on the right path.”
The five officers charged in the January 7 beating death of Nichols were members of the department’s SCORPION unit, which was launched in November 2021 to patrol high-crime areas.
Tire Nichols video: Memphis officials release footage of deadly traffic stop
The special unit was disbanded after body camera footage of Nichols’ brutal arrest was released on January 28.
Those five officers – Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith — were fired and charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, and other counts.
Preston Hemphill, the sixth officer involved in the arrest, was fired Friday for violating multiple department policies, according to police.
Three Memphis Fire EMTs were also terminated following the investigation into Nichols’ death.
The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday about their review.
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