Officers involved in Tyre Nichols traffic stop given notice of violations
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - According to Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, the MPD internal investigation regarding the death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols wrapped up this past Saturday.
29-year-old Nichols was pulled over on January 7 near the intersection of Ross Road and Raines Road in Hickory Hill for reckless driving, and after two “confrontations” with officers on the scene, he was taken into custody.
The injuries he sustained were severe enough to have him admitted to St. Francis Hospital, where he died three days later.
Though we don’t know how many officers were involved in the traffic stop that resulted in a violent apprehension, we do know there are multiple officers and these officers received notices of violations early this week.
According to Strickland, what’s next is these officers appearing before a panel of MPD leaders, which is set to happen at the end of this week.
Then, it will be determined if or which policies were violated and what possible punishment these officers will face.
“I know it’s not moving quite as fast as some people would want it to,” Mayor Strickland said in an interview with Action News 5. “You can’t discipline these government employees quite as fast as you can in the private sector. This is happening faster than the City of Memphis has done it ever, but we’re trying to do the right thing.”
The mayor said any potential charges that come from this panel hearing can only be civil in nature.
Potential criminal charges would have to come from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) or the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office.
We know TBI is conducting a “use of force” investigation in the case of Tyre Nichols, but they have not answered if this is a criminal investigation.
“To my knowledge, (TBI) have not given any timeline to city government on when their investigation will be complete,” said Strickland.
“I’m in favor of transparency,” said District Attorney Steve Mulroy. “I’m in favor of releasing video in such cases as soon as possible.”
Mulroy was addressing the Nichols case during a Wednesday lunch and learn with the NAACP and Shelby County Voter Alliance.
He gave some context as to why the dash and/or body camera video still has not been released.
“A.) We have to do it legally, and B.) we have to do it in a way that doesn’t compromise the investigation,” Mulroy said. “An officer-involved shooting, there is a statute that specifically gives the District Attorney’s Office discretion to release the video, even if the TBI investigation is not yet complete, but this is not an officer-involved shooting.”
The current plan, according to Strickland, is to first have the panel hearing for the officers involved in the traffic stop.
Then, early next week, Nichols’ family, accompanied by their attorney Ben Crump, will meet with the city to review video from the scene.
After that, the video will be released to the public, hopefully by the middle of next week.
On top of all this, the U.S. Attorney’s Office from the West TN District announced Wednesday afternoon that they, in partnership with the FBI, have opened a civil rights investigation in this case.
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