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Memphis City Council left with more questions as MPD, MFD chiefs lay out reforms after the death of Tyre Nichols

As the investigation into death of Tyre Nichols continues police chief CJ Davis and MFD chief Gina Sweat attempt to layout department reforms before city council.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis city council's public safety committee met Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023, to discuss any new reform measures being taken in the wake of the death of Tyre Nichols.

On the one-month anniversary of the traffic stop that led to the death of Tyre Nichols, law enforcement reform was front and center at Memphis city council's Public Safety Committee Meeting.

“We’re a month from what we all watched; the death of Mr. Nichols. I think that’s important to note," councilman J.B. Smiley

As the investigation into the death of Tyre Nichols continues, Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis said along with reassessing how psychological evaluations work, the department is also revamping its hiring process.

“We’re working with HR so that we can a performance evaluation process that has quantitative evaluations for all officers," police chief CJ Davis said. "As opposed to the usual, sort of check the box."

Memphis Fire Chief Gina Sweat said she is ensuring a thorough review of all EMT and emergency personnel policies internally. 

“Evaluating making sure all of our fire personnel and EMS know exactly what their responsibilities are; holding people accountable," chief Sweat said.

With the City of Memphis chief legal officer Jennifer Sink confirming to ABC24 a statement of charges for policy violations could come this week for an additional seven officers, many on the council are still wanting more substantive and immediate changes. 

“An overview of the things that they’re doing was not necessarily what we were looking for or the makeup of the department," public safety committee chairman Rhonda Logan said. "But I think that they understood, and I look forward to them coming back for some specific reform measures." 

On the agenda, most notably, along with several other measures, was a resolution in support of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and an ordinance that would require only appropriately marked law enforcement vehicles to conduct a traffic stop. 

It’s reform council members admit is only just beginning.

“I heard a lot about discussions and conversations, but we’re 30 days out and I haven’t heard anything specifically," councilman Smiley said.

For some, it was really, more questions than answers. 

“This is a conversation that has to include everyone in the city of Memphis," Logan said. "We want to see the things that we are doing well but we also want to see how we need to change." 

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