The U.S. Justice Department will partake in an external review of the Memphis Police Department after five officers beat 29-year-old Tyre Nichols to death after a routine traffic stop.
According to Reuters, the “independent, external review,” which was disclosed by Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, will include the Justice Department and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Its purpose is to assess the Memphis Police Department’s special units, such as the scorpion squad, as well as use-of-force policies inside the department. The city of Memphis also said DOJ’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services will also take part in the review.
The Justice Department has yet to comment on the investigation, but Mayor Strickland is confident in the independent, external review.
“While we no doubt have a long way to go on the road to healing, hopefully through our actions, citizens will see we are working to be better and that we are heading down the right path,” he said in a city bulletin. “Tyre was a beautiful person, and for this to happen to him is just unimaginable.”
President Joe Biden invited RowVaughn Wells, the mother of Tyre Nichols, and Rodney Wells, Nichols’ stepfather, to the State of the Union address on Tuesday, in which he will likely speak about how his administration plans on tackling comprehensive police reform.
Biden also sat down with the members of the Congressional Black Caucus last week to put together a “legislative package” on how the group will address police reform.
“We have agreement on how we will continue to work forward both from a legislative standpoint as well as executive and community-based solutions, but the focus will always be on public safety,” said Rep. Steven Horsford of Nevada, the chairman of the Black Caucus.
During the Nichols’ funeral, RowVaughan Wells called on Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in her son’s name. Civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton also demanded that congress take action on police reform in the wake of Nichols’ death.
Tyre Nichols, 29, died Jan. 10 after he was hospitalized following a violent arrest by Memphis police.
According to the police, Nichols was pulled over Jan. 7 for reckless driving.
Video of Nichols’ horrific arrest was released to the public a day after the five officers responsible for the beating death of the 29-year-old were charged with second-degree murder. The Memphis Fire Department employees involved in the violent arrest of Tyre Nichols were also fired for their roles in an alleged murder.
Nichols was brutally beaten by Memphis police just 19 miles from the Lorraine Motel, the place where Martin Luther King was assassinated.
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