The Memphis Police Department fired five officers in connection with the the death of Tyr Nicholswho died at a hospital after being arrested by police earlier this month, according to a department release verified Twitter account.
“The blatant nature of this incident is not a reflection of the good work our officers do with integrity every day,” Police Chief Kerlain “CJ” Davis said in a statement.
Investigators working on an internal review of the arrest found that the officers had breached the use of force, duty to intervene and duty to render aid rules.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating whether the officers’ actions were criminal in nature. The Justice Department and the FBI launched a civil rights investigation.
“Due to the ongoing criminal investigation, the Memphis Police Association will not comment on the termination of officers in the case of Tyre Nichols,” the union representing the employees said. “The citizens of Memphis and, more importantly, the family of Mr. Nichols deserve to know the full story of the events that led to his death and what may have contributed to it.”
On Jan. 8, the police department announced that officers had pulled over a driver for reckless driving the previous day. “When officers approached the driver of the vehicle, a confrontation ensued and the suspect fled the scene on foot,” officials said in a statement posted on social media.
Officers pursued the suspect and again attempted to detain him when another confrontation occurred before the suspect was taken into custody, according to police.
“The suspect then complained of shortness of breath, after which an ambulance was called to the scene. The suspect was transported to St. Francis Hospital in critical condition, officials said.
The man, identified as Nichols, died several days later, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
Details of the injuries Nichols suffered or the cause of his death have not been released. CNN contacted the Shelby County Coroner.
City officials said Tuesday that the officers’ body camera video will be made public after the police department’s internal investigation is complete and after the family has had a chance to review the footage. Attorney Ben Crump indicated Friday that the family would see the tape Monday and said he and the family would hold a news conference that afternoon.
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