UNITED STATES NEWS

City of Memphis releases new documents tied to Tyre Nichols’ beating death

Feb 14, 2024, 8:10 AM

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The city of Memphis on Wednesday released additional documents tied to the January 2023 fatal beating of Tyre Nichols by five police officers, a brutal attack captured on video that sparked outrage and intensified calls for police reform.

The latest documents, numbering in the hundreds of pages, include personnel files for Memphis police and fire department employees who were fired after the beating. They also include internal police investigation files.

A state judge ordered the release of the documents in November on the same day that former officer Desmond Mills Jr. pleaded guilty to federal charges in Nichols’ death.

Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man, died in a hospital Jan. 10, 2023, three days after the beating. All five of the officers who were charged in his killing are also Black.

Some videos were released in the weeks that followed showing Nichols being pulled over and kicked, punched and hit with a police baton as he yelled for his mother just steps from his home.

A coalition of media organizations, including The Associated Press, pressed for more information to be made public, citing the First Amendment. That led to the release of a further 21 hours of video and audio on Jan. 30 this year. The video and audio added hours of context and revealed more about the actions and statements of the first responders that night.

The city had already released some documents last year detailing the personnel records of the officers involved in Nichols’ death. The city said Wednesday that with the latest release they have made public all documents related to the court order.

“We understand the importance of releasing these documents to the public. This release represents our commitment to transparency,” Mayor Paul Young said in a statement.

Mills also intends to plead guilty to criminal charges in state court and could be called to testify against his four former colleagues — Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin and Justin Smith — who remain charged with federal civil rights violations and second-degree murder and other criminal counts in state court. They have pleaded not guilty.

Their federal trial is set for Sept. 9. The state court court trial has been scheduled for Aug. 12, but that date could change.

Two other Memphis officers were fired for their involvement. Another Memphis officer was allowed to retire before he could be fired. Two emergency medical technicians and a fire lieutenant were also fired for failing to provide adequate aid.

The U.S. Department of Justice opened a “patterns and practices” investigation into how Memphis Police Department officers use force and conduct arrests, and whether the department in the majority-Black city engages in racially discriminatory policing.

In March, the Justice Department announced a separate review concerning use of force, de-escalation strategies and specialized units in the Memphis Police Department. Also, Nichols’ mother has sued the city and its police chief over her son’s death.

___

Associated Press writers Claudia Lauer in Philadelphia and Kristin Hall, Travis Loller, Kimberlee Kruesi and Jonathan Mattise in Nashville contributed to this report.

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City of Memphis releases new documents tied to Tyre Nichols’ beating death