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Mark LeSure, retired Memphis police officer found dead

Source: Mark LeSure/LinkedIn

A retired Memphis police officer and military veteran who has been outspoken about the police officers accused of murdering Tyre Nichols has been found dead. Mark LeSure, a former sergeant with the Memphis Police Department’s (MPD) homicide unit, was found unresponsive outside of his Memphis home on Sunday, according to local news reports.

While there was no reported evidence of foul play, a viral tweet posted late Monday night identified LeSure as “a whistleblower” who has “been on the news several times and very outspoken about the Memphis police force and their handling of the Tyre Nicholes [sic] incident.”

MORE: Justice For Tyre Nichols: Complete Timeline Of A Police ‘Murder’ And Investigation In Memphis

The tweet also claimed that LeSure was “found shot and dead in his driveway,” details not included in news coverage of his death.

Social media users have run with that narrative framing LeSure as a “good cop” who got silenced by dirty cops without any proof of that claim.

Mourning his death, LeSure’s aunt was not quoted as saying he was shot.

“He was in the driveway when we got here lying face down,” Rose LeSure-Jones told WREG. “Whatever it was he didn’t deserve this, he really didn’t he was a good guy. One of the good guys really.”

A neighbor and friend suggested that LeSure was a victim of gun violence in the same community he was known for serving faithfully.

“He had outreach ministries to young people in the community, a few blocks away. Westwood community center and now they just lost a mentor,” Randie Fleming told WREG. “It’s one thing you hear gang members shooting and killing each other dying, but someone who is an upstanding guy, he served his community.”

LeSure, who retired from MPD in 2021, made no secret of his thoughts about the state of his former employer, especially as it related to Nichols’ death.

Reacting to Nichols’ death – for which five Black Memphis police officers were arrested and charged with murder – LeSure told NBC News he took issue with inexperienced officers being assigned to specialized police units not unlike the one involved in the brutal beating caught on video in January.

“Rookies were getting put on specialized units where they had no business being,” he said.

Specifically, LeSure said the so-called SCORPION unit to which the officers involved in Nichols’ death belonged was given a green light to “do what they can to arrest people.”

MPD’s SCORPION unit was swiftly disbanded after news of Nichols’ death made headlines.

In an interview with the New York Times, LeSure had pointed criticism of the officers involved in Nichols’ death and emphasized their inexperience.


“Human beings man, that’s what happened. They let their emotions get the best of them, and there was no veteran officer there to stop them,” LeSure told the Times. “Usually when vets are there, things go differently because we have that experience to say, ‘I understand you’re mad but you got to stop, you can’t do this, it isn’t right.’”

LeSure — who worked for MPF for more than 28 years and served in the U.S. Army as a military police officer for 10 years — recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree from LeMoyne-Owen College and was looking forward to pursuing a master’s degree at the same historically Black college before his death, his friends said.

“He will be missed, a lot of brothers loved him as soon as he walked in,” Antonio Avant Sr. told Action News 5 of their fellow Omega Psi Phi fraternity members.


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