FBI, Dept. of Justice launch civil rights investigation into Tyre Nichols’ death

Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 2:14 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 18, 2023 at 4:17 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The United States Department of Justice and FBI are opening a civil rights investigation into the death of Tyre Nichols.

Nichols died in his hospital bed on January 10, days after two “confrontations” with police on January 7. Memphis police say they pulled Nichols over for reckless driving around 8:30 p.m. in the area of Raines Road and Ross Road.

United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee Kevin G. Ritz issued the following statement on Nichols’ death:

The statement comes a day after the city announced the body camera footage will not be released publicly until an internal investigation is completed.

Monday, family members and community activists as well as civil rights attorney Ben Crump called for the video to be released and for the officers to be held accountable.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is conducting a “use of force” investigation at the request of Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy.

Police Chief CJ Davis said Sunday that the department is notifying officers involved of “impending administrative actions.” Action News 5 asked the City of Memphis and Memphis police to explain what “administrative actions” means. We have not heard back.

A spokesperson tells us state law prevents the agency from releasing evidence that may exist as part of their investigation.

Tennessee Code 10-7-504 protects the confidentiality of TBI investigative surveillance records, both audio and visual unless they’re subpoenaed or requested by court order for “civil action or criminal prosecution”

In the meantime, Action News 5 has requested a dash camera, an officer body-worn, a skycop video, a list of officers under MPD internal investigation, and a full report narrative from police.

The City of Memphis released the following statement regarding the civil rights investigation.

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