DOJ to conduct review of Memphis Police Department after Tyre Nichols’ death
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(MEMPHIS, Tenn.) — The Department of Justice will help conduct a review of the Memphis Police Department following the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols, city officials said.
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland announced Friday that the DOJ’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, along with the International Association of Police Chiefs, will conduct an “independent, external review” that will include assessing the department’s special units and use-of-force policies “to honor Tyre and help make sure this type of tragedy does not happen again.”
“While we no doubt have a long way to go on the road to healing, hopefully through our actions, citizens will see we are working to be better and that we are heading down the right path,” Strickland said in a bulletin.
Nichols, 29, died on Jan. 10, three days after he was beaten by police after he ran from a traffic stop in Memphis. Graphic footage of the violent confrontation released by the city showed officers appearing to kick, punch and pepper spray Nichols.
Five officers at the scene of the beating were fired and charged with second-degree murder in connection with Nichols’ death. The special task force they all had been assigned to was subsequently disbanded.
A sixth officer who responded to the initial traffic stop has been fired for violating “multiple department policies,” Memphis Police said on Friday. The violations included personal conduct, truthfulness and a violation for not using a Taser in compliance with regulations, the department said.
Another unidentified officer involved in the traffic stop has been placed on administrative leave.
“Multiple” officers are also under investigation for policy violations related to Nichols’ arrest and death, the department said Friday.
It is unclear how long the independent review of the Memphis Police Department will take. ABC News has reached out to the DOJ’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and the Memphis mayor’s office for more information on the timeline.
The International Association of Police Chiefs, a professional association for police leaders, called Nichols’ death “appalling and indefensible” in a statement last week.
“As police leaders we remain committed to emphasizing dignity and respect for all and instilling within our agencies a fundamental commitment to the preservation of human life. But we must, and will, do more,” the association said. “We must remain committed to working together in partnership with community members, advocacy organizations, elected officials, and others to build a future that ensures dignity, security, and justice for all.”
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