The feds say they will review the Memphis Police Department after Tyree Nichols’ death in police custody last month.
The Justice Department will team up with a group of prominent police chiefs for an “independent” review of the Tennessee department at the request of Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland.
“To help honor Tyre, and ensure that this type of tragedy never happens again, the City of Memphis has partnered with the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)… and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) has been added to take action. Review of the Memphis Police Department, Strickland said in a release Friday.
“An independent, external review of these agencies will include a review of MPD’s special units and use of force policies.
Strickland said, “While we undoubtedly have a long road to recovery, the hope is that throughout all of our actions, citizens will see that we are working to get better and that we are on the right track.” ”
The move comes as the city is reeling from the Jan. 7 fatal beating of a 29-year-old FedEx worker, whose bodycam footage shows the brutal attack.
Nichols is heard repeatedly calling for his mother as he is beaten, kicked, stun gunned and pepper sprayed by five Memphis police officers.
The confrontation began when Nichols was pulled over at a traffic stop near his mother’s home. Cops claimed he was driving recklessly, but the city’s police chief later said there was no evidence he was doing anything wrong at the time.
He succumbed to his injuries at a local hospital three days later.
Police – Tadarrius Bean, 24; Demetrius Haley, 30; Emmett Martin III, 30; Desmond Mills, Jr., 32, and Justin Smith, 28, were fired and arrested after the incident.
They were each charged with second-degree murder, two counts of official misconduct, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, one count of official coercion and one count of aggravated assault, officials said.
A sixth police officer, Preston Hemphill, was also later fired after an internal investigation determined he “violated multiple department policies” over the incident.
Three members of the Memphis Fire Department were also fired for failing to properly assess Nichols’ condition after arriving at the scene.
Vice President Kamala Harris was among those who attended Nicholas’ funeral last week.