5 Memphis officers fired for involvement in death of Tire Nichols
One of the five Memphis police officers fired in connection with the death of Tire Nichols was accused of beating a prison inmate years earlier, according to reports.
A lawsuit unearthed this week alleged former officer Demetrius Haley participated in an assault on an inmate in May 2015. The suit, filed in 2016, was ultimately dismissed for procedural reasons.
Last week, Mr Haley was fired from the Memphis Police Department over his involvement in a January 10 traffic stop in which Nichols, 29, was allegedly beaten. The Black man died days later.
An independent autopsy released by the family has since revealed Nichols suffered “extensive bleeding” before his death.
The US Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, Kevin Ritz, on Wednesday vowed to carry out a complete and thorough civil rights investigation.
He noted that the highly-anticipated release of body camera footage showing the traffic stop will be left up to state and local authorities.
Nichols’ family met with police earlier this week to review the video, which civil rights lawyer Ben Crump described as “appalling, heinous, violent and troublesome”.
Once again, a community scarred by police violence demands video evidence of what occurred
After the shock death of Tire Nichols, Memphis community members want police body camera video of what happened during a fatal January traffic stop.
However, despite previous promises to release the video, city officials are now equivocating.
“Transparency remains a priority in this incident, and the premature release could adversely impact the criminal investigation and the judicial process,” police chief Cerelyn Davis said in a release. “We are working with the District Attorney’s Office to determine the appropriate time to release video recording publicly.”
Graeme MassieJan 26, 2023 9:05 a.m.
Funeral details for Tire Nichols released
Civil rights activist Al Sharpton will deliver the eulogy at the funeral of Tire Nichols on February 1 at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis, Tennessee.
The funeral will be open to the public the family has announced.
“The universe is working for my brother, and I love it,” Keyana Dixon, Nichols’s older sister, told The Commercial Appeal. “His light will outshine the dark way he left us.”
Graeme Massie26 January 2023 07:01
The Tire Nichols arrest video to be made public on Friday
The Tennessee Sheriff’s Association wrote to the National Sheriffs Association (NSA) notifying law enforcement agencies that videos of the Tire Nichols arrest are set to be made public on Friday, according to WTVF.
Nichols died on 10 January 10, following a brutal confrontation with Memphis Police on 7 January and law enforcement are now warning its release may spark public disorder.
An independent autopsy for the family concluded that he suffered “extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating.”
“Due to the nature of the video’s contents it is believed it may spark responses outside of the traditional protest. There is a public safety risk potential to communities and peace officers expanding outside of the Shelby County (Memphis) TN. area,” the letter stated.
Graeme Massie26 January 2023 05:01
Past beating allegations against fired officer emerge
In the wake of the death of 29-year-old Tennessee father Tire Nichols after a traffic stop, five officers of the Memphis Police Department have been removed from their posts. One of them has now been revealed to have been sued for allegedly beating a prison inmate unconscious in 2016.
The officers stand accused of beating Mr Nichols so severely on 7 January that he died in hospital three days later.
Officer Demetrius Haley was one of three corrections officers accused in an April 2016 lawsuit filed in a US District Court in Tennessee to have assaulted inmate Cordarlrius Sledge, who was imprisoned in Shelby County at the time.
Sledge filed the lawsuit without an attorney, and it was dismissed in 2018 by a judge who found that he didn’t correctly serve one of the defendants with a summons, NBC News reported.
The judge, Thomas Anderson, didn’t comment on the allegations put forward by Sledge when he dismissed the suit on 2 March 2018.
The Independent’s Gustaf Kilander has more:
Graeme MassieJan 26, 2023 2:30 a.m.
US Attorney promises complete and thorough civil rights investigation
Mr Ritz, the US Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, promised a complete and thorough civil rights investigation into Tire Nichols investigation at Wednesday’s press conference.
He stated that he had met with Nichols family this week and promised to bring them justice where needed.
However, he cautioned that the investigation “will take some time”.
On the topic of when the body camera video will be released, Mr Ritz said that will be up to state and local authorities.
Graeme MassieJan 26, 2023 12:15 a.m.
Autopsy shows Tire Nichols was severely beaten before death, family lawyers say
The Shelby County medical examiner’s office has not yet released an official cause of death in the highly controversial case. But the family of the 29-year-old from Memphis hired his own forensic pathologist to review the death.
Preliminary findings from the review found that Nichols “suffered extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating,” family attorneys Benjamin Crump and Antonio Romanucci said on Tuesday.
Graeme MassieJan 25, 2023 9:02 p.m.
Memphis Fire Department fires two in wake of Tire Nichols death
MPD says two employees were “relieved of duty” and an internal investigation is underway in connection with the death of the Black man days after he was stopped by police on 7 January.
Memphis Fire Department spokesperson Qwanesha Ward told NPR that the unidentified employees were “involved in the initial patient care” of Nichols.
“This is an ongoing investigation, and we cannot comment further at this time,” Ms Ward said.
Graeme MassieJan 25, 2023 8:22 p.m.
US Attorney to speak on investigation
US Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee Kevin G Ritz is set to speak about the Tire Nichols investigation in a few minutes.
His remarks are set to begin at 9.30am local time (10.30am ET).
Megan SheetsJan 25, 2023 3:18 p.m.
Officer fired over Tire Nichols death was accused of brutally beating prison inmate in 2016
One of five Memphis police officers who were fired over the alleged beating death of Tire Nichols had been accused of beating a prison inmate unconscious years earlier, according to a federal civil rights complaint.
The complaint was filed against former officer Demetrius Haley in April 2016 in Tennessee’s US District Court by Cordarlrius Sledge, NBC News reported.
Mr Sledge accused Mr Haley of being among three corrections officers who assaulted him while he behind bars at the Shelby County Division of Corrections in May 2015.
Mr Sledge said the officers searched his cell and baselessly accused him of flushing contraband before attacking him.
He claimed Mr Haley and another officer punched him in the face before the third officer slammed him into a sink. He woke up later in a hospital bed at the facility.
The suit was dismissed in 2018 after a judge ruled Mr Sledge – who filed the complaint without a lawyer – did not properly serve a summons to one of the defendants.
Megan Sheets25 January 2023 12:29
Tire Nichols investigation leads to firings and suspensions across multiple Memphis departments
Two Memphis Fire Department employees have been removed from duty while the agency conducts an investigation into the death of a Black man after a violent arrest that led to the firing of five police officers.
The employees were involved in the initial patient care of Tire Nichols, the Memphis Fire Department said in a statement.
Memphis police officers beat Nichols on Jan. 7 for three minutes, treating him like “a human piñata” in a “savage” encounter reminiscent of the infamous 1991 police beating of Los Angeles motorist Rodney King, attorneys for his family said Monday after the family saw police video.
More details in our full story.
Josh Marcus25 January 2023 07:59