The Memphis Police Department said it has fired five officers involved in the arrest of Tyre Nichols, a Black 29-year-old whose mysterious death in the hospital days after a traffic stop placed the department under a national microscope.
In terminating the officers, Chief CJ Davis cited violations of department policies on the use of excessive force, the duty to intervene and the duty to render aid.
“The Memphis Police Department is committed to protecting and defending the rights of every citizen in our city,” Davis said in a vague statement on Friday. “The egregious nature of this incident is not a reflection of the good work that our officers perform, with integrity, every day.”
The Justice Department and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have launched investigations into the death.
The officers’ dismissal also comes after the police department probed the Jan. 7 arrest. Nichols was stopped on suspicion of reckless driving, fled after a confrontation, and then was detained after another confrontation, according to the department.
“Afterward, the suspect complained of having a shortness of breath,” the department said in a statement one day after the incident, adding that he was taken to a hospital in “critical condition.”
Nichols died at the hospital three days after the arrest. The cause of death has not yet been determined.
Nichols’ family has said officers were driving an unmarked car when they pulled Nichols over, and that he experienced cardiac arrest and kidney failure triggered by a beating from the cops.
The family has called on authorities to release body cam footage of the traffic stop.
With News Wire Services