8 more Memphis police officers to face charges in Tyre Nichols case, city attorney says

Calls for police reform on Capitol Hill

Renewed calls for police reform following Tyre Nichols’ death


Eight more officers with the Memphis Police Department will likely face charges in the aftermath of Tyre Nichols’ death last month, officials said on Tuesday. 

During a city council meeting, which focused on officers’ conduct during the violent arrest that left Nichols with fatal injuries, the Memphis City Attorney Jennifer Sink spoke alongside Police Chief C.J. Davis to address an ongoing investigation at the police department. Sink told the council that, by her count, eight additional Memphis police officers are expected to receive a statement of charges — which she described as a document outlining their “policy violations” — in connection with Nichols’ arrest.

Nichols, a 29-year-old father and FedEx worker living in Memphis, was pulled over by police for an apparent traffic stop on the evening of Jan. 7. As seen in body-camera and surveillance footage later released by the city, Nichols proceeded to flee the area on foot before officers caught him and beat him at a nearby intersection. 

The disturbing video sparked outrage across the country, reigniting congressional calls for police reform while raising questions about the conduct of a number of Memphis police officers and first responders involved in the arrest. Five officers were immediately fired and charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression. At least two additional officers were relieved of duty on Jan. 8 as the investigation got underway, according to the police department.

At Tuesday’s city council meeting, Sink said a total of 13 Memphis police officers have now been implicated in Nichols’ death, at least on administrative charges. She said that she could not publicly identify the eight officers who are due to receive statements of charges because the investigation into their conduct is still ongoing. However, Sink said she believes those documents will be served to them by the end of the week, with subsequent hearings taking place next week. Sink also said that more detailed information about the officers involved, the charges against them and alleged policy violations they carried out, will be made available to the public next week as well.

Davis told city council members on Tuesday that her review of the officers’ implicated in Nichols’ case did not reveal warning signs related to conduct in their records when they joined the Memphis Police Department’s now-terminated SCORPION unit. The police chief also referenced what she described as a longstanding shortage of supervisors within the police department, although she also said officers were given “exceptional” and frequent training.

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