Memorial service for Tyre Nichols held; MPD expects investigation to end by Friday

Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 7:10 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 17, 2023 at 10:49 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - It’s been 10 days since 29-year-old Tyre Nichols was pulled over by Memphis police near the intersection of Ross Road and Raines Road in Hickory Hill, a traffic stop that went south after two “confrontations” between Nichols and officers on the scene.

Nichols fled on foot before being taken into custody, according to MPD.

The TBI’s “use of force” investigation began on January 7.

Nichols sustained multiple injuries during the traffic stop and died from those injuries three days later, on January 10 at St. Francis Hospital.

Tuesday in Orange Mound, at the EJ Edwards Funeral Home off Airways Boulevard, family and friends attended a memorial service for Nichols.

Many of these same family members and friends were seen outside the National Civil Rights Museum on Monday during MLK Day celebrations, advocating for justice for Nichols.

Emotions ran high during Tuesday’s memorial, as one can imagine.

Loved ones spoke before the crowd speaking on how loved Nichols was―laughs and plenty of tears exchanged.

“I’m in disbelief,” said Angelina Paxton. “I didn’t want to believe that people sworn to protect us would do something like this.”

Paxton is from Sacramento, California, where Nichols lived prior to moving to Memphis.

“We met at church,” she said. “Tyre was just a light in our life. He was a light in everyone’s life.”

Nichols had been a friend to her for 15 years, and Paxton said she has an upcoming move to Georgia, which Nichols was supposed to help with.

She had plans to come visit Nichols in June for his birthday, but her trip to Memphis came much earlier, to attend his memorial.

Paxton said she represents the support from California for Nichols’ family.

“There would be a couple thousand people in this room,” Paxton said, describing if the memorial was in Sacramento. “He was such an innocent person. He was such a light. This could have been any of us.”

“My son is a community person, so this (memorial) was good to see,” said Nichols’ stepfather Rodney Wells.

As far as the investigation within MPD on this case, Chief CJ Davis told us she expects a wrap by the end of the week.

In a joint statement, Chief Davis and Mayor Jim Strickland wrote:

Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy, who request that TBI conduct a “use of force” investigation following the news of this violent traffic stop, issued this statement around the same time as Strickland and Davis.

Regardless of what the results of the investigation are for Wells, there’s only one result he’d like to see for the officer(s) involved in the case of his dead stepson.

“Murder one,” Wells said, meaning first-degree murder charges.

Chief Davis said Sunday that the department is notifying officers involved of “impending administrative actions.”

Action News 5 asked the MPD on Sunday and again on Tuesday what “administrative actions” are but have not received that information.

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.

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