5 Memphis officers fired for involvement in the death of Tire Nichols
One of the five Memphis police officers fired in connection with the death of Tyre 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 that 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”.
Past beating allegations against the 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 January 7 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 did not correctly serve one of the defendants with a summons, NBC News reported.
The judge, Thomas Anderson, did not comment on the allegations put forward by Sledge when he dismissed the suit on March 2, 2018.
The Independent’s Gustaf Kilander has more:
Graeme Massie26 January 2023 02:30
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 Tyre Nichols investigation at Wednesday’s press conference.
He stated that he had met with the 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 it will be up to state and local authorities.
Graeme Massie26 January 2023 00:15
Autopsy shows Tyre 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 its 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 Massie25 January 2023 21:02
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 the police on January 7.
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 Massie25 January 2023 20:22
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 9:30 a.m. local time (10:30 a.m. ET).
Megan Sheets25 January 2023 15:18
The officer fired over Tyre Nichols death was accused of brutally beating a prison inmate in 2016
One of five Memphis police officers who were fired over the alleged beating death of Tyre 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 was 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 Nicholsthe 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 the police video.
More details in our full story.
Josh Marcus25 January 2023 07:59
Why the Tire Nichols case is bringing back memories of Rodney King
Family members, activists, and community residents are comparing a violent January police stop to the infamous Rodney King beating of 1991.
Gustaf Kilander has the details you need to know about the Tire Nichols case in Memphis.
Josh Marcus25 January 2023 05:00
When will the Tire Nichols body camera footage be released and why is it taking so long?
Tire Nichols29, died in Memphis, Tennessee on January 10 just three days after being arrested by members of the city’s police department. Now, two weeks later, residents are still waiting to see the body camera footage of the arrest that apparently led to the death.
Mr. Nichols was initially pulled over for reckless driving on January 7 and allegedly fled from the police. He complained of difficulty breathing shortly after the police confronted him and was taken to an area hospital, where he died.
The five officers involved in Mr. Nichols’ arrest were fired last week, which civil rights advocates heralded as a step toward justice for Mr. Nichols.
But those advocates believe there is still a long way to go before justice is fully served in the death of another Black American following a confrontation with the police.
Abe Asher has the details.
Josh Marcus25 January 2023 02:00
Video: ‘This is about transparency’
Community members gathered on Tuesday for a meeting of the Memphis city council, using the forum to demand transparency, including body camera footage, of the police stop that left Tyre Nichols in critical condition and likely killed him.
“This is about transparency and dammit we go have it,” one community activist said.
Josh Marcus25 January 2023 01:00