MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The family of Tyre Nichols, who died after a traffic stop and confrontation with Memphis Police, has retained civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump.
This comes after Memphis Police announced that the officers involved in the arrest could face “administrative actions.”
In a statement released Monday, Jan. 16, 2023, Crump said they are demanding MPD release body camera and surveillance footage from the traffic stop and arrest. “All of the available information tells us that this was the tragic and preventable death of a young man deeply beloved by his family and community. This kind of in-custody death destroys community trust if agencies are not swiftly transparent. The most effective way for the Memphis Police Department to be transparent with the grieving Nichols family and the Memphis community is to release the body camera and surveillance footage from the traffic stop. Nobody should ever die from a simple traffic stop – the footage is the only way to discern the true narrative of why and how that happened to Tyre.”
Protesters Monday also interrupted the mayor's MLK Day breakfast, calling for justice for Nichols. Saturday, Jan. 14, Nichols' loved ones joined community members for a protest outside of the Ridgeway Police precinct, calling for MPD to release body camera footage.
MPD said Sunday "its own administrative investigation" has been launched as the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) also continues to look into Nichols’ death. MPD said its investigation began on Jan. 7, the day they said Nichols was approached by officers for a traffic stop. The department said they contacted the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office and the TBI that same day to conduct an independent investigation.
Investigators said around 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 7, officers tried to make a traffic stop for reckless driving in the area of Raines Road and Ross Road, and MPD said a confrontation happened when officers approached the driver of the vehicle, identified as Nichols. MPD said Nichols ran away and then a second confrontation took place. According to MPD, Nichols told officers he was short of breath before being transported to St. Francis hospital in critical condition. The TBI said Nichols died on Tuesday, Jan. 10.
In the statement released Sunday, MPD Chief CJ Davis said, “After reviewing various sources of information involving this incident, I have found that it is necessary to take immediate and appropriate action. Today, the department is serving notice to the officers involved of the impending administrative actions.”
In the same statement, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said, "Make no doubt, we take departmental violations very seriously and, while we must complete the investigation process, it is our top priority to ensure that swift justice is served. We want citizens to know that we are prepared to take immediate and appropriate actions based on what the findings determine."
The NAACP also previously released a statement saying they "will keep close watch of this matter along with General Mulroy."