A judge in Memphis said that nearly 20 hours of new footage and internal documents related to the city’s investigation into the death of Tyre Nichols, 29, cannot be released until the lawyers for the five former Memphis police officers charged in his death have seen the new footage.
The release was stopped by a court order signed by Shelby County Criminal Court Judge James Jones Jr. The order was filed Wednesday by Blake Ballin, the lawyer for Desmond Mills, Jr., and signed by the other four former officers.
The court order read-
“The court orders that the release of videos, audio, reports, and personnel files of City of Memphis employees related to this indictment and investigation (to include administrative hearings, records and related files) shall be delayed until such time as the state and the defendants have reviewed this information”
“The release of this information shall be subject to further orders of this court and, in the public interest, will be ordered as soon as possible.”
After a traffic stop, multiple officers beat, pepper sprayed, and used a stun gun on Nichols, which was caught on camera and released last month. This led to protests in Memphis and all over the country. Nichols, who loved skateboarding and worked for FedEx, died on Jan. 10, three days after the beating.
It’s not clear what the new video will show or when it will be released, but it may answer a question about why police pulled Nichols over in the first place on the night he was beaten. Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis said that the department hasn’t been able to back up its initial claim that Nichols’s driving was so dangerous that he needed to be pulled over.
More Related News:
- Five Memphis Officers Have Pleaded Not Guilty in the Death of Tyre Nichols
- Sharpton Message To Tyre Nichols 5 Black Police Officers: “How Dare You!”
The DOJ Is Looking Into The Police Policies And Specialized Units In Memphis
The Department of Justice said Wednesday that it will review the Memphis Police Department’s policies and practices about the use of force, de-escalation, and specialized units. This is in response to a request from local leaders. The DOJ will also do a larger review of how specialized units are used in law enforcement.
The five former officers charged in Nichols’ death were all part of the SCORPION Unit, which was broken up after Nichols’ death. Specialized police units all over the country have been looked at closely because of scandals that go back to the 1990s. One example is SCORPION, which stands for Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods.
Since Nichols’ death, has Memphis changed how the police work?
Tuesday, five public safety laws were passed after hours of discussion by council members and dozens of comments from the public. These laws deal with data transparency, traffic stops, and police oversight.
Council attorney Allan Wade has proposed a “consolidated” ordinance that would get rid of and replace some of the ordinances that were passed on Tuesday. It is possible that these ordinances will change. In two weeks, a new law called “Achieving Driving Equality,” which would be added to the Memphis Code, will be discussed.
What did the initial footage show?
- Nichols was yanked out of a car and thrown to the ground by police officers. Nichols can hear the officers yelling orders and bad words at him. After a short fight, Nichols is seen running away as a police officer pulls out a stun gun.
- Nichols was caught by police at a second location, where they punched, kicked, pepper sprayed, and hit him with a baton while he was restrained and calling for his mother.
- Then, the officers propped him up against a police car, where he sat and cried out in pain. The video shows that Nichols did not get medical help until more than 20 minutes after he was beaten.
- After the stop, the officers can be heard saying things about Nichols’ behavior that don’t seem to be shown in the videos. During the fight, they say Nichols reached for one of their guns and was “swerving” so much that he almost hit a police car before stopping at a red light.
Which police officers are being accused?
In connection with Nichols’ death, five former Memphis police officers, Tadarrius Bean, Emmitt Martin III, Justin Smith, Demetrius Haley, and Desmond Mills Jr., were charged with murder and other crimes. In February, they went to court and said they were not guilty. The former officers are due back in court at the beginning of May.
What happened to the other people who were being looked into?
The Memphis Police Department looked into 13 officers in total. Seven of them were fired, three were suspended, and two had their internal charges dropped. Even though one officer retired, that person was recommended to be fired. Four employees of the Memphis Fire Department were also looked into. Three of them were fired, and the fourth was put on suspension and told to go to retraining.
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