News   /   Human Rights

US Justice Dept. to review Memphis police after Tyre Nichols' killing

Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man who was pulled over while driving and died three days later, is beaten by Memphis Police Department officers on January 7, 2023, in this screen grab from a video released by Memphis Police Department on January 27, 2023. (Via Reuters)

The US Justice Department will review the Memphis Police Department after the brutal death of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man killed by police last month, according to city officials.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland announced the review in a bulletin which disclosed that the Justice Department as well as the International Association of Chiefs of Police would participate in an "independent, external review" requested by the city to assess the Memphis Police Department's special units and use-of-force policies, Reuters reported.

Video captured on bodycams and a street surveillance camera and released by officials in Memphis, Tennessee shows police officers brutally beating, kicking and punching Nichols following a traffic stop on January 7. Nichols died three days later in hospital.

His death has sparked protests across the United States and rekindled a debate about the need to change the culture of police violence in the country.

Memphis police on Friday fired a sixth officer involved in the death of Nichols. Five other officers were previously suspended and charged with second-degree murder.

Nationwide, police have killed roughly three people per day consistently since 2020, according to academics and advocates for police reform who track such deaths.

Police reform talks, spurred by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis, collapsed in Congress in 2021 after lawmakers failed to strike a bipartisan deal.

The videotaped death of Floyd, a Black man, under the knee of a white officer was so agonizing to watch that it summoned a national reckoning that featured federal legislation proposed in his name.

The attorney representing the family of Nichols has called on Congress to use this “tragic death” to pass reform legislation to rein in the epidemic of police brutality in America.

"Shame on us if we don't use his tragic death to finally get the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act passed," Ben Crump last week.

Crump placed the onus on President Joe Biden to marshal the US Congress into passing sweeping police reforms, a legislative imperative that has eluded federal leaders for decades even as cases of police-involved deaths have continued to mount.

The Congressional Black Caucus is requesting a meeting with Biden this week to push for negotiations.

Nichols' death is the latest high-profile example of police using excessive force against Black people and other minorities. While the violent encounter has triggered a conversation about policing, some on Capitol Hill are cautioning against new legislation to create new mandates for law enforcement.


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku