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Family of Tyre Nichols Suing Memphis Police Over His Death

The family of Tyre Nichols are filing suit against the city of Memphis, its police department and the officers involved in the January beating death of Nichols, NPR reports. The family's attorneys — Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci — and local counsel, retired Judge Earnestine Hunt Dorse, are announce the filing of the case Wednesday. The attorneys are accusing the Memphis Police Department of "intentional infliction of emotional distress for lying to [Tyre Nichols'] mother" about his beating at the hands of police. Nichols, 29, died on Jan. 10, three days after he was stopped by Memphis police for what they called reckless driving. Officers said the 29-year-old fled the scene but eventually was taken into custody after two "confrontations" with officers.

Nichols complained of shortness of breath after his arrest and was taken to the hospital in critical condition. Five former Memphis police officers — Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith — were fired on Jan. 21. The five officers belonged to a team known as the SCORPION unit, which was deactivated shortly after Nichols' death. The five former officers each face several charges, including second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression. Like Nichols, all of the dismissed officers facing charges are Black. News of the family's civil lawsuit filing comes after the city of Memphis announced it had completed its investigation into Nichols' beating death. In a city council meeting, the city's Chief Legal Officer, Jennifer Sink, said the city's investigation revealed that a total of 13 officers from the Memphis Police Department underwent an administrative investigation for their involvement in Nichols' death. Of those, seven were fired, three were suspended and two had internal charges dropped, Sink said.


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