Memphis to Release More Findings From Tyre Nichols Investigation

MEMPHIS — Two months after Tyre Nichols was brutally beaten by a group of Memphis police officers, city officials are preparing to release about 20 hours of additional video and audio that could provide more details about what happened on that night in early January.

The public release of the footage, expected as early as Wednesday afternoon, comes after the city announced Tuesday that it had concluded administrative investigations into a total of 13 Memphis police officers and four Fire Department employees. At a City Council meeting on Tuesday, Jennifer A. Sink, the chief legal officer for the city of Memphis, said that a seventh officer, as yet unidentified, had been fired, in addition to the six whose firings were previously announced.

Three other officers have been suspended without pay, she said, and one retired ahead of a disciplinary hearing. Two officers had their administrative charges dismissed.

Within the Fire Department, two E.M.T.s and a lieutenant were fired, while a fourth employee was suspended, Ms. Sink said at the meeting. Details of the charges and disciplinary decisions that were not previously announced are expected to be released along with the new video footage and audio, she said.

Mr. Nichols, a 29-year-old FedEx worker and aspiring photographer, died three days after five officers repeatedly kicked, punched and beat him with a baton after pulling him over on the night of Jan. 7. The violence and callousness, captured on camera and released almost three weeks later shocked Memphis residents and people across the nation; it also exposed a pattern of intimidation and brutality within the ranks of officers tasked with protecting the public.

The Death of Tyre Nichols

Five Memphis police officers have been charged in the death of Tyre Nichols, a Black man, after a traffic stop escalated into a brutal beating.

The city has not released footage of the police stopping Mr. Nichols, who was Black, as he was driving home. Police officers initially said Mr. Nichols was driving recklessly, but some of the officers who pulled him over and chased him did not turn on their body cameras or removed them during the encounter — a policy violation — according to police records.

The hour of body camera and surveillance footage released in late January instead showed in graphic detail how the stop became violent as five officers, all Black men, forced Mr. Nichols from his car and threatened him, even though he did not appear to resist them. After one officer launched pepper spray at his face, Mr. Nichols broke away and ran toward his family’s home nearby.

When officers caught up with Mr. Nichols soon after, they beat him for three minutes as he screamed for his mother and attempted to shield himself from their blows. According to internal affairs documents, one officer, Demetrius Haley, took a photo of Mr. Nichols, bloodied and propped up against a car, and sent it to at least five people.

Mr. Nichols died three days after arriving at the hospital in critical condition.

Prosecutors previously charged the five officers — Mr. Haley, Tadarrius Bean, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith — with second-degree murder, as well as official misconduct, official oppression and kidnapping. At a hearing last month, each man pleaded not guilty to the charges.

A state agency is also reviewing a request that all five men be permanently prevented from working as police officers elsewhere in the state, after the Memphis Police Department fired them shortly after Mr. Nichols’s death.

A sixth officer, Preston Hemphill, was fired in late January, after he was found to have fired a Taser at Mr. Nichols as he fled from the initial encounter with the officers. Mr. Hemphill, who is white, has not been charged with a crime, but the police department has asked that he, like the others, be banned from working for any Tennessee police force.

The other seven officers and four Fire Department employees have also not been charged with a crime, though they faced internal investigations. Two E.M.T.s, Robert Long and JaMichael Sandridge, as well as a lieutenant, Michelle Whitaker, all of whom responded to the scene of the beating, were fired on Jan. 30. Officials said Ms. Whitaker did not get out of the fire truck, while Mr. Long and Mr. Sandridge waited 19 minutes to give care to Mr. Nichols.

City, police and fire department officials have pledged to take additional steps, including toughening city ordinances that help govern the police department. The Scorpion unit — the high-profile specialized unit the five officers belonged to — has been disbanded, and the leaders of both the police and fire department have said they will work to overhaul the culture of their respective agencies.

The Justice Department on Wednesday morning confirmed that it would examine the Memphis Police Department’s practices and its use of force, specialized unit and de-escalation tactics, reviewing policies, training and data. Separately, the agency also plans to create a guide for mayors and police chiefs “to help them assess the appropriateness of the use of specialized units.”

Both Mayor Jim Strickland and Cerelyn Davis, the police chief, had requested the investigation into the Police Department.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Ms. Sink did not explain what led to the charges against the remaining group of police and fire department employees, who have not yet been publicly identified, or why their punishments varied. But she previously told the City Council that the investigation had extended beyond officers who were physically present at the scene.

“We get one shot — one shot to do this,” she told the council in late February.

On Tuesday, she said all the officers who had struck or aimed a Taser at Mr. Nichols had been fired in January. One person who was suspended without pay, she added, placed his hands on Mr. Nichols’s legs “at the tail end” of the encounter.

“But that was not a strike or an assault,” Ms. Sink told the City Council.

Council members appeared incensed to learn that one police officer, facing administrative charges, retired before a hearing could be scheduled and before he could still receive a pension. At the hearing, which Ms. Sink said took place despite his retirement, officials said the recommendation would have been to fire the officer.

“It’s upsetting,” said JB Smiley Jr., the vice chairman of the Memphis City Council. Referring to the fact that Mr. Nichols’s mother and stepfather are Memphis taxpayers, he added: “I just don’t like the fact that his parents essentially is paying this officer to go on and live. That’s troubling. We have to find ways to to fix that.”

All of the disciplined officers will be able to appeal. On Friday, Mr. Long, one of the E.M.T.s who had his license suspended, had an initial hearing to challenge the suspension of his license, telling officials that the police officers that night were “impeding patient care” and refused to remove Mr. Nichols’s handcuffs.

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