Tire Nichols: Memphis police to be investigated as judge delays release of more video and audio | US News

The U.S. government has opened an investigation into the Memphis Police Department following the beating to death of Tire Nichols as more footage that was scheduled to be released has been delayed.

The Justice Department announced it would review police department policies on use of force and de-escalation following the January death of the 29-year-old.

In the meantime, Memphis city officials will release approximately 20 hours of additional video and audio related to the arrest of Mr. Nichols.

However, the judge granted an extension until prosecutors and lawyers for the five former officials charged in the case could review the materials.

The child’s father died three days after he was pulled over at a traffic stop on Jan. 7 by several Tennessee police officers and beaten with batons.

The deadly beating sparked outrage over police violence in the United States.

Tennessee Criminal Court Judge James Jones issued the ruling Wednesday in response to a motion filed by attorneys for one of the officers seeking a stay.

Body camera and CCTV footage previously released by Memphis police showed officers beating Mr Nichols for three minutes while he was heard screaming “Mom, Mom” ​​multiple times.

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‘I didn’t do anything’, pleads Tire Nichols

However, the four previously released shorter videos did not reveal what caused the traffic stop or what officials at the scene told paramedics who responded to the incident.

Five officers, all black, were charged with second-degree murder, assault, kidnapping, official misconduct and oppression.

Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills Jr, Emmitt Martin III and Justin Smith all pleaded not guilty to the charges in February.

The DOJ review was at the request of the city’s mayor and police chief. When complete, a public report will outline the findings and recommendations.

In another effort, the department will examine the use of specialized units across the country and produce a usage guide for police chiefs and mayors.

The department had previously opened a civil rights investigation into Mr. Nichols’ death.

read more:
How Tire Nichols’ violent arrest unfolded
Three first responders fired for responding to Tire Nichols’ death

Police said Mr Nichols was arrested on suspicion of reckless driving, but there was no verified evidence of a traffic violation in public documents or video footage.

Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis initially defended the anti-crime task force Scorpion unit following Mr. Nichols’ death but later disbanded it, saying she had seen no evidence to justify a stop or police response.

A total of 13 officers were investigated for their conduct. Seven were fired, three were suspended, two charges were dropped, and one resigned in lieu of firing.

Three members of the Memphis Fire Department were also fired and one was suspended.

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