Citizens, activists speak at Memphis City Council on death of Tyre Nichols

Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 10:23 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Several activists and citizens voiced their concerns about Nichols’ death and what city leaders will do to hold those involved accountable.

Several public speakers talked about how the community is hurting after Tyre Nichols’ death.

They want answers about the current investigations and when the city employees who were fired or under investigation could be criminally charged.

A traffic violation has woefully served as the precursor of the grisly murder of black and brown people in this nation time and time again,” said speaker Richard Massey. “Unfortunately this time around, that reality has come knocking on our door.”

Many speakers asked for transparency from city leaders on police policies, when the video of the traffic stop will be released and when those responsible could be charged for Nichols’ death.

“Do I want to see the video? I don’t know,” said Executive Director of MIFA, Reverend Ayanna Watkins. “I’m a mama too. So many of us are. We’re brothers and sisters and children, sons and daughters, but we do want to see justice for Tyre and everyone else like him walking the streets.”

Five officers have been terminated in connection to Nichols’ death, and two Memphis Fire EMTs have been relieved of duty but no charges have been announced.

The video footage could be released in one to two weeks says Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy who is urging patience.

“We just ask for patience as to not taint and not to allow anything that will allow this investigation and everything along those lines in order to be untainted,” said Councilman Martavius Jones.

City councilors echoed that message, Tuesday.

“Don’t think because we sit here and do our job which, you elected us to do that we don’t feel we do,” said Councilwoman Rhonda Logan. “But please let’s come together as a community and stand together and allow the process to move forward and be a part of the process, all of us so that justice can be served.”

Councilman J.B. Smiley says he plans to present an ordinance at the next council meeting that would require Memphis police to collect and regularly report data on the use of force, arrests, traffic stops and complaints.

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