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DOJ to investigate Memphis Police Department after Tyre Nichols’ fatal arrest: Mayor

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland announced in a city bulletin posted Friday that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will be conducting a review of the Memphis Police Department following the death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols after he was beaten by Memphis police.

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The DOJ’s review was described by Memphis officials as an “independent, external review” and the city has stated that the agency will assess all of Memphis Police Department’s (MPD) special units and its use of force policies.

Strickland wrote that the review is being conducted in order “to honor Tyre and help make sure this type of tragedy does not happen again.”

The Memphis mayor also quoted Nichols’ mother, speaking on behalf her son, “Tyre was a beautiful person, and for this to happen to him is just unimaginable,” and he posted a poem written by Nichols’ god sister.

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Body camera video from the incident, which occurred last month, showed that five officers brutally beat Nichols for three minutes and left him on the ground without medical attention for more than 20 minutes after.

The five officers – Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith – were fired on Jan. 20 and have since been indicted on second-degree murder charges.

Footage also showed that a white officer, Preston Hemphill, was the one that pulled Nichols out of his vehicle after police stopped him. MPD announced he was fired from his position on Friday.

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Hemphill’s body camera footage showed him chasing Nichols after he ran away from the officers during their first confrontation. But Hemphill turned back to the location of the traffic stop, instead of continuing to the second location where Nichols was beaten.

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