Why police reform didn’t protect Tyre Nichols
The Memphis Police Department Stopped and Beats Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Unarmed Black Hole: The Case for a Fourth Degree
As protesters gathered across US cities over the weekend following the Memphis police beating that led to the death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols, officials have said the investigation into the incident will continue amid questions over whether there could be additional charges.
The Memphis Police Department announced Saturday that it was disbanding the specialized unit whose officers stopped and beat Nichols on Jan. 7. Nichols died in the hospital three days later.
As the investigation continues, Nichols’ family attorney Ben Crump said he thinks there will be additional fallout, but “whether that’s going to lead to criminal charges, we have to see.”
Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy said he can’t comment on whether there might be additional charges brought, but “nothing we did last Thursday regarding indictments precludes us from bringing other charges later.”
Officials knew releasing the video without charges for the officers could be “incendiary,” Mulroy said. “The best solution was to expedite the investigation and to expedite the consideration of charges so that the charges could come first and then the release of the video,” he added.
Nichols ran from the officers but was apprehended again a few blocks away. At that point, Haley kicked him in the torso as three other officers were handcuffing him. Other officers kicked Nichols in the face, punched him or struck him with a baton. According to footage captured on a utility pole camera, one of the officers appears to quickly take a photo of Nichols on his phone as flashlights are shined on him.
Nichols died on Jan. 10, three days after he was pulled over for what officers said was reckless driving. Bodycam video showed one of the officers, Demetrius Haley, aggressively pulling Nichols out of his car, forcing him to the ground and pepper-spraying him before another officer, who was later fired but not criminally charged, used a Taser against him.
According to Ben Crump, the family attorney, all of the officers failed their oath. “They failed their oath to protect and serve. Look at that video: Was anybody trying to protect and serve Tyre Nichols?”
Demonstrators marched through New York City, Atlanta, Boston, Baltimore, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland, among other cities across the nation on Saturday, raising signs bearing Nichols’ name and calling for an end to abuses of authority.
The Memphis Police Unit Dismantled During a Trimormortle by Mr. Nichols and the Way It Was Doing
Nichols’ family, now at the center of unfamiliar media attention, remembered him as a good son and father who enjoyed skateboarding, photography and sunsets. They remembered his smiling and hugs and how they will never have the same moments again.
On Saturday, Memphis PD said it had permanently deactivated the unit after “listening intently to the family of Tyre Nichols, community leaders and the uninvolved officers who have done quality work in their assignments.
“That reprehensible conduct we saw in that video, we think this was part of the culture of the SCORPION unit,” Crump said. We said we wanted them to dismantle before we see anything like this happen again.
Memphis City Council member Frank Colvett believes there will be a change for the police department and leadership. She is going to have to answer to the citizens as well as the council.
“We just have to change the culture … We have to hold people accountable. The police reform that will come from Mr. Nichols’s legacies is going to happen elsewhere in this country and here in Memphis.
“We saw a very peaceful and direct sense of protest in the city of Memphis, and I think it’s because maybe we do have faith and hope that the system is going to get it right this time,” Easter-Thomas said.
The Memphis Police Charged with a Crime against Officers in the Early March 2nd Amendment: The Case against the Cops Who Met Nichols
The charge against the officers who encountered Nichols are set to be made public on February 17. They are charged with second-degree murder and other counts.
The lawyer for one of the officers indicted, Mills Jr., put out a statement Friday night saying he didn’t cross the lines that others did.
As reported by NPR, four of the officers had prior violations at work. In recent years all but Bean have been reprimanded or suspended, either for failing to report physical force, domestic disputes or damages to squad cars, according to Memphis police files.
The House of Representatives passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which was not approved by the evenly split Senate.
Steven Horsford, the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus wrote in a release that they were requesting a meeting with the President this week to push for negotiations on police reform.
The swift firing of the police officers and release of the video should be seen as a model for how police brutality allegations can be handled in the future. He praised Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis for charging officers within 20 days.
She didn’t like what Congress did by failing to craft and pass bills to stop police brutality. There is blood on your hands. So stand up and do something.”
What Will Happen If a Dog Gets Boated Like That? When Police Meet Their Specialty Units in Memphis to Address the Vicious Violation of Tyre Nichols
Hardaway said the legislation would address mental health care for law enforcement officers and other topics.
The legislation should pass on both sides of the legislature, since the Democrats hold a minority position compared to the republican majority.
You would be hard-pressed to not remember what happened to the young man in this video, and you don’t want to do anything. What would happen if a dog in this county was beaten like that? The towns said it.
On hearing the initial account she thought it was a strange summary of what happened during the traffic stop. Once she viewed video of what actually happened, she was “outraged,” she said.
“It was far more rampant in the ’80s, when I started doing police work, than it was in the ’90s or 2000s,” said Geoffrey Alpert, a professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of South Carolina. “Even before body cams, cops were getting more professional and wouldn’t make it personal, like it seemed to be in this case. This is just — it’s so far out of the norm.”
To mitigate the potential for escalation and confusion during police encounters, today’s police training typically calls for a single officer at the scene to issue clear and specific commands. It also requires police officers to respond professionally and proportionately to any perceived act of defiance.
There is no sign of the officers intervening to stop the aggressive use of force in the available footage. It shows that the opposite is true.
The official efforts to respond to the vicious beating of Tyre Nichols by Memphis police are already underway, just two days after footage of the incident was released to the public.
“We hope that other cities take similar action with their saturation police units in the near future to begin to create greater trust in their communities,” the attorneys said. We must remember that this is just one step in the journey of justice and accountability as clearly this misbehavior is not restricted to these specialty units. It extends so much further.”
The Memphis Commercial Appeal Against the Charged Officers of George Floyd’s Death: Congressional Actions After the February 14th Law Enforcement Inequality
House Democratic Caucus Chair John Ray Clemmons, Rep. G.A. Hardaway and Rep. Joe Towns, Jr., announced their plan during a press conference on Saturday.
Among the issues the bills aim to address are implicit bias training, mental health evaluations for police officers, limits on officers transferring departments after facing discipline or being fired and a reevaluation of low-level traffic stops, NBC News reported.
Republicans hold a sizeable majority in the Tennessee General Assembly, but Democrats said they were certain they could get bipartisan support because of the incident, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
“Without federal police reform, I think we’re going to continue to see these hashtags proliferate so much that we can’t keep up with them,” Crump told ABC’s This Week.
The federal policing bill that bears George Floyd’s name failed to pass in the Senate and efforts to end qualified immunity, a judicial doctrine that protects police officers from being held personally liable for violating a person’s rights, have not succeeded in Congress.
The police captain of Montgomery County, Maryland, is a woman. She is the founder of The Black Police Experience, which promotes the education of the intersection of law enforcement and the Black community. She is a professor of criminal justice at both Montgomery College and Howard University. The opinions expressed are of her own. CNN has more opinion.
It was evident to me that officers lacked supervision, showed little professional maturity and made a complete disregard for human life when they chose to escalate a situation into a deadly encounter.
The mother said that the officers charged with her son’s death brought shame to their families. They made the Black community feel bad.
The association’s current stance is unusual. It didn’t say that the officers were doing a difficult job or that they were being unfairly scrutinized, it just said that they had to make split-second decisions.
After George Floyd died in 2020, there were calls for police reform but they were mostly replaced by calls to hire more police officers. Last year, President Joe Biden proposed funding for 100,000 new police officers as part of his Safer America Plan and the 2023 omnibus appropriations bill includes $324 million in funding to hire more police officers.
While some have praised Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis’ swift action in the case, she is also who created the now-deactivated SCORPION police unit that the charged officers were part of.
Such deaths are preventable, but training or a patchwork of local policies will not be sufficient. It will look like dedication to reform through federal legislation that addresses the use of no-knock warrants, duty to intervene, use of excessive force, and other dangerous policing issues and the placement of strong political change-makers in office through voting.
This article has been modified to accurately reflect the writer’s experience; she has 28 years of combined experience in law enforcement, not just as a captain.
The five former officers were charged with murder and kidnapping. After a fatal traffic stop, police released body camera and street footage of the encounter.
Two years after the Memphis shooting, police and the community: The case of Floyd, the victim of a brutal ram-to-ram collision
“If we look at some past incidents in our country, there’s been some mistakes made,” said Ron Johnson, a former Missouri State Highway Patrol captain, referring to the handling of previous cases of police brutality. A lot of things have been done right.
Two years ago, if we had seen some of the things we are seeing here, we wouldn’t have done it.
In Taylor’s case, the police initially stated there was no forced entry in which he was killed. But officers had used a battering ram to enter her home before shooting her. Minneapolis police initially said Floyd “appeared to be suffering medical distress.” But video showed Officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for several minutes.
Still, law enforcement and legal analysts are now pointing to Memphis’ actions as a new example of how to maintain trust in the community after fatal police encounters.
Body camera footage of the brutal incident, released late last month, cast a spotlight on the city’s law enforcement practices and renewed calls for police reform nationwide.
The preliminary results of an autopsy commissioned by attorneys for Nichols’ family said he suffered “extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating,” family attorney Benjamin Crump said this week.
Memphis police terminated officers for excessive use of force, duty to intervene and duty to render aid in the cases of Walter Scott and Robertson Smith
On January 15, noting the serious nature of the officers’ conduct during the stop,Chief Davis vowed “immediate and appropriate action.” The department was “serving notice to the officers involved,” she said.
Officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith were terminated for failing in their “excessive use of force, duty to intervene, and duty to render aid,” the department said in a statement.
“The police department obviously learned something from … other high-profile cases when district attorneys were not transparent, when they did not act quickly,” said Areva Martin, an attorney and legal affairs commentator.
“They did the right thing in this case by convening a grand jury, investigating the case quickly, and then charging these officers, bringing them into custody.”
Memphis has relatively rapid criminal charges, which is compared to other cities that have waited months or years in brutality cases.
The case of Walter Scott, who was fatally shot in the back after being pulled over by officers for a broken brake light in South Carolina, reminded CNN political analyst, Bakari Sellers.
The former officer was indicted on a murder charge two months after the shooting. In the wrongful death trial of the former officer in the killing of Scott, he admitted to acting under the color of law. He was sentenced to 20 years in a federal prison.
CNN law enforcement warned against taking a high tension event and adding it to the weekend because people don’t have to be at work in the morning and they have the whole weekend ahead of them.
Miller said that the delay allowed the public to see that the wheels of justice are turning quickly. The additional time allowed officials to unify the faith community in Memphis, the voice of the family and the family’s lawyers, and the key community contacts in calling for calm.
The Memphis Police Department and the Victims of the Memphis Bridge-Breaking Event on Sunday, April 11: After the Video Surveillance Video, Citizens Outraged
Police departments across the country – including in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Nashville and New York – said they were either monitoring events or already had plans in place in case of protests.
Martin said they watched so many of the cases over the last several years. When law enforcement authorities are transparent and provide information to the community, we typically see a peaceful response.
Protesters blocked both lanes of the interstate bridge in Memphis late Friday night after the videos went online. There were no arrests.
After the EMTs arrived, first responders repeatedly walked away from Nichols, with him intermittently falling onto his side.
The experts were shocked by the footage. Officials across the country expressed outrage – including President Joe Biden, who said it was “yet another painful reminder of the profound fear and trauma, the pain, and the exhaustion that Black and Brown Americans experience every single day.”
The video of the fatal encounter between Nichols and the Memphis Police Department has left unanswered questions about what the department did to prevent the tragedy.
She told CNN Saturday that all of this was preventable. There are young officers who are doing what they are supposed to be doing on a regular basis. This was something that they were not used to doing.
Memphis City Council Chairman Martavius Jones grew emotional after watching the video, telling CNN that despite the positive shift in the handling of brutality cases, much more needs to be done.
The online fundraiser reads in part: “My baby was just trying to make it home to be safe in my arms. Tyre was unarmed, nonthreatening, and respectful to police during the entire encounter!”
“We have to fight the bad players in our community, and now we’ve got to fight our own police officers. Robinson said that it is degrading. We are going to have to do something.
But disbanding the unit without giving officers new training would be “putting lipstick on a pig,” city council chair Martavius Jones told CNN Saturday.
A GoFundMe in Memphis to Resolve the Memphis Police Officers That Killed Tyre Nichols, the Father of his Son, and His Mother
US Sen. Dick Durbin, Democrat of Illinois and chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, called for Congress to revive national police reform legislation and said the previously stalled legislation was a good starting point.
“It’s the right starting point, and Sen. (Cory) Booker, chairman of the crime subcommittee, has been working on this for years. I think he and Sen. (Tim) Scott should sit down again quickly to see if we can revive that effort, but that in and of itself is not enough. He said there needs to be a national conversation about policing in a humane and responsible way.
The 29-year-old was a father and also the baby of his family, the youngest of four children. He was a “good boy” who spent his Sundays doing laundry and getting ready for the week, his mother said.
A GoFundMe created by Nichols’ mother has raised over $1,085,600 as of Sunday afternoon. The donations will go towards the cost of Wells’ and her husband’s mental health services as well as their time off from their jobs, according to the page. It also adds that they want to build a memorial skate park in honor of Tyre and his love for skating and sunsets.
The officers and paramedics on the scene, as well as the people who filed paperwork, are being looked at by the District Attorney.
Prosecutors moved “extraordinarily quick” with charges against the five officers “primarily responsible for the death of Tyre Nichols,” the district attorney said.
“Memphis, and the world, need to know that what is right is being done in this case,” Paul Hagerman said in the hallway outside the courtroom after the hearing. Everyone who did something criminal is brought to justice in this case.
“We need to make sure that we go through our police department and see where we were weak, what happened with our procedures, what happened with our oversight,” Warren said.
On Monday, police said a sixth and a seventh officer were placed on leave with the other five on January 8 – and those two officers still are subjects of an internal investigation.
The Memphis police said in a news release that the actions and inactions of other officers are under investigation.
That body-cam video does not show Hemphill at the second site, where the county’s district attorney has said Nichols was beaten and suffered his serious injuries.
Tyre Nichols, Jr., and the Loss of a Man who Lived in Memphis, Alabama, That Day Before Martin Luther King Jr.
The fire department said on Monday that they terminated their personnel over their response to the encounter.
The fire chief said that the EMTs failed to conduct an adequate patient assessment after responding to the call because they didn’t know much about the situation.
After the fire department firings were announced Monday, an attorney for Tyre Nichols’ family, Antonio Romanucci said, “everybody on that scene was complicit in this man’s death, in one way, shape, form, or another, somebody failed Tyre Nichols.”
“Some of the questions that remain will require a focus on Desmond Mills’ individual actions,” and “on whether Desmond’s actions crossed the lines that were crossed by other officers during this incident,” Ballin said.
“They either failed by using excessive force; they failed him by severely beating him; they failed him by not intervening; they failed him by not rendering aid,” the attorney told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Monday.
The attorney said that the family still has to absorb a lot of the information from the multi-agency investigation, and also deals with the loss of a loved one.
The Nichols family is expected to hold a press conference Tuesday night at Memphis’ Mason Temple Church of God in Christ headquarters, where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous last speech the day before he was assassinated in that city, according to a press release from their attorney Ben Crump.
Law enforcement’s initial statements about a violent encounter are often vague, misleading or false, because of the discrepancy between the initial police statement and what was captured on video.
On May 25, 2020, the Minneapolis Police Department said officers responded to a forgery in progress and arrested a suspect. “Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress,” a press release read. The officers called for an ambulance.
Video footage from a bystander shows a former Minneapolis police officer kneeling on the man’s neck as he pleads, “I can’t breathe!” Floyd died that day.
The New York police department’s public relations division said at the time a man was being put in custody and went into cardiac arrest and died.
In 2018, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office first said that 23-year-old Dujuan Armstrong died of a drug overdose inside the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, Calif. According to the Guardian, the body-camera footage showed that the officers put him in a restraining jacket and a spit mask before he became unresponsive. An autopsy found that Armstrong died of asphyxiation due to the restraints.
For example, John Elder was the Minneapolis Police Department’s public information director in 2020 and wrote the initial statement about Floyd’s death. He stated to the Los Angeles Times that he got his information from the patrol sergeant, but didn’t see the video of the encounter until after writing the press release.
“This had literally zero intent to deceive or be dishonest or disingenuous. Elder told the newspaper that the statement would not have been the same had it not been for the video.
There is a conflict when there are discrepancies in the report or in the statements that have been put out, that don’t match the evidence. And when the language that is used is particularly one that tries to abdicate responsibility,” she said.
She said she worked with one agency that would bring in community leaders for an explanation of an incident before discussing it with the media. Departments can also acknowledge if they are still looking into what happened, she said, including if they haven’t reviewed any video evidence yet.
The Memphis funeral of a young man killed by a cop: a police officer’s opinion about the violation of the Fourth Amendment’s right to a public interest
A funeral will be held in Memphis, roughly 3 weeks after a young man died following a beating by police that was caught on video and sparked calls for accountability nationwide.
At the invitation of the family, Vice President Harris will attend the funeral. The mother and brother of George Floyd are also expected.
Services at the Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis are scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. Time is different depending on whether or not it is Central Time. The funeral would be broadcasted on both Facebook and YouTube.
The two discipline cases about the use of force focused on whether the officers filed the required reports about the incidents and did not appear to examine if the officers’ used of force was warranted.
Haley was given a traffic ticket after crashing into a stop sign while responding to an assault call. During the hearing about the incident, Haley said that as he was driving to the scene, a call came over the radio that one of the responding officers was holding the suspect at gunpoint and that he sped there “only thinking about the officer’s safety.”
The hearing officer wrote that “Officer Haley took full ownership for the accident and was very humble during the hearing” and the violation was dismissed.
Memphis Police disciplinary action against a Memphis citizen who allegedly violated procedure in the fall of his digital assistant and a woman into the street
Mills attended West Virginia State University and graduated in criminal justice in 2013 with a degree.
Mills violated procedure when he dropped his digital assistant into the street while entering his car. The device was then run over by a separate car.
It was Mills’ first infraction, and he immediately reported the incident to his union representative, so he received a written reprimand, according to department records.
Mills failed to file a response to the resistance form when he used force to take a woman down to the ground. In the hearing in August 2021, Mills said he did not realize his actions necessitated use of the form and was again issued a written reprimand.
Martin and his partner found a loaded handgun in the back of their squad car. Martin said he failed to do a proper pre- and post-shift inspection, and only inspected the car from the outside. During his shift that day, he and his partner conducted two traffic stops, in which the suspects were placed in the backseat where the gun was found. As per the protocol, the officers did not inspect after the suspects left the vehicle. Martin was issued a three-day suspension without pay, according to the files.
A fellow officer and lieutenant at the disciplinary hearing defended Martin, saying the victim didn’t want a report and Martin is not one to “shirk responsibility.”
The hearing officer said Memphis Police officers are directed by their department policy and state law to make a complete report on domestic abuse calls. “Officer[s] cannot base their decision to arrest based [on] the victim’s consent or on the perception of the victim’s willingness to cooperate with prosecution.”
“Officer Martin is respectful when dealing with others regardless of their sex, race, age, or rank,” the evaluation stated. When dealing with the public he approaches his calls with a positive attitude, which is well received. He has been a leader in the arrests and calls, and not a single person who has been arrested has complained.
Smith began at the department in March 2018. Henywayanyday a vehicle in the rear, then caused it to spin and crash into another vehicle with two people inside. All parties were sent to the hospital in non-critical condition.
Smith said the driver of the second vehicle went right and then left into his lane suddenly. He admitted to speeding, but said he wasn’t sure if he remembered due to his head injury.
The officer, Demetrius Haley, stood over Nichols as he lay propped against a police car and took photographs, which Haley sent to other officers and a female acquaintance, according to documents released by the Tennessee Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission.
Lawyers for Haley and the four other officers either declined to speak or did not respond to requests from The Associated Press.
The documents released by the Memphis Police Department are part of a request from the department to have the five officers who are charged with murder removed from working in law enforcement. Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis signed each of the five requests to decertify the officers.
Shelby County District Attorney’s Office Investigates Three Charges of Second-degree Murder in the Nichols-Mumford-Milne Case
Haley, who was driving an unmarked car and wore a black sweatshirt hoodie over his head, forced Nichols from his car using loud profanity, then sprayed him directly in the eyes with a chemical irritant spray, according to the statement.
Mills was charged with decertification due to the video he was captured on of making unprofessional comments, laughing, and boasting about his involvement.
They added, “You admitted you did not provide immediate medical aid and walked away and decontaminated yourself from chemical irritant spray,” and further accused Mills of later failing to give Nichols’ mother an accurate account of what happened.
The hearing officer wrote that Smith had struck the non-violent man with a closed fist and that his partner was not able to handcuff him. You sprayed the individual with the chemical irritant spray and then held the individual’s arm as officers kicked, punched and pepper sprayed him.
The Shelby County District Attorney’s Office confirmed in an email to NPR that it will review closed and pending cases connected to Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills Jr., Emmitt Martin III, Justin Smith and Tadarrius Bean, who have all been fired and charged with second-degree murder.
The documents from the internal review paint a very unprofessional image of the officers, according to NPR’s Martin Kaste.
The officers’ cases were put up for review and then the local officials put their name on a list of people accused of being dishonest or facing criminal charges.
According to the New York Times, defense attorneys are putting together a roster of all officers who were associated with the SCORPION unit, which could endanger hundreds of cases across the city.
Brandon Hall told the Commercial Appeal that when he saw the prosecutor drop the case involving the officers, he believed it would be the same outcome in other cases.
Josh Corman, formerly a prosecutor in Shelby County, believes that using the officers as witnesses would be a nightmare.
Vickie Terry, the Executive Director of the NAACP’s Memphis Branch, told Memphis TV station WREG that her office received several police-related complaints after Nichols’ death (though she didn’t specify whether they were about those specific officers or the SCORPION unit).
She said she was afraid that others had been treated this way. “If they go back and find out somebody might have been convicted for something that they did not do, you’re definitely going to have to reopen cases.”
The family of an unarmed Black man shot and killed by a Shreveport, Louisiana, officer: a federal wrongful death lawsuit
The family of an unarmed Black man who was shot and killed by a Shreveport, Louisiana, police officer has filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit against the officer.
The Louisiana State Police said that Bagley was killed by a police officer earlier this month after they responded to a domestic dispute at an apartment complex. According to a statement from state police, Bagley jumped from the balcony and fled when the officers arrived.
The lawsuit claims that the use of lethal force against an empty handed man is excessive and without justification.
Tyler is currently on paid administrative leave pending results of the state police investigation, the Shreveport Police Department told CNN. The officer has been with the department since May 2021, Chief Wayne Smith said.
In Louisiana, four state troopers and another law enforcement officer were indicted on charges last year stemming from the in-custody killing of 49-year-old Ronald Greene, a Black man violently beaten by officers during an arrest.
Davis asked the community to be patient with the investigation after Bagley’s death. It is of paramount importance that the investigation is transparent.
Ronald Haley, the family’s attorney, told CNN that the family hopes to view the video before the funeral.
Further information will be released with the help of the District Attorney. We do not have a timeline at this time,” Nick Manale, a spokesperson for state police, told CNN via email.
Laura Fulco, the first assistant district attorney for Caddo Parish, stated that Louisiana State police had a case under investigation. It is still being investigated.
Tyre Nichols, a Black Black man, was never a police officer. He never did anything wrong, nor did he like to kill him
Each of the men’s lawyers entered pleas on their behalf on Friday, and all five of them stood side by side. The parents of Tyre Nichols sat in the courtroom gallery beside their attorney, Ben Crump.
RowVaughn Wells said her family was determined to see the process through to the end, and that Friday’s hearing was the beginning of the process.
“They didn’t even have the courage to look at me in my face after what they did to my son,” she said of the defendants’ brief courtroom appearance. “So they’re going to see me at every court date, every one, until we get justice for my son.”
After Friday’s hearing, which dealt with whether or not the former officers who beat and killed Nichols were to blame, the attorney for Bean suggested that his strategy would be to convince the jury that not all of them were to blame.
“You look at the involvement of each individual defendant, and in that particular case, he was doing his job, no more, no less,” Perry said. He never hit anyone. He never did anything other than his job.”
He said that the client was a Black man in a courtroom. “I will work tirelessly to make sure the system does not fail Mr. Mills, and that a fair outcome is achieved.”
Memphis Police Reform: The Status and Upcoming Status of the Memphis Detectors of Second-Degree Crime in the Era of the Second-degree Murder
The second-degree murder charge the five officers face carries a sentence of 15 to 60 years. The next court date was set by the judge.
Last week, the City Council preliminarily approved six ordinances to revamp the police department, including one that would restrict officers’ ability to conduct routine traffic stops and another that would ban officers from making traffic stops while in unmarked cars like the ones officers used to stop Nichols. Among other measures, the council also voted to strengthen the civilian review board that investigates complaints of police abuse.
Memphis officials have been working hard to hire hundreds of new police officers in the past few years due to high violent crime rates.
But as the department has struggled to fill its ranks, it has lowered hiring criteria, even seeking permission to recruit officers with criminal records. Critics have warned those moves could mean more enlisted police officers unfit to serve and more likely to abuse their authority.