TENNESSEE (WJHL) – Tennessee leaders from all levels of government have made statements about the Tyre Nichols Memphis police incident. Governor Bill Lee and Senator Marsha Blackburn joined that list.
Governor Bill Lee posted on Twitter, “Cruel, criminal abuse of power will not be tolerated in the state of Tennessee. These individuals do not represent the honorable men and women of law enforcement, and they must be brought to justice for this tragic loss of life. The City of Memphis and the Memphis and the Memphis Police Department need to take a hard look at the misconduct and failure that has occurred within this unit.”
Lee is referring to the SCORPION Unit, which is a specialized unit that the officers involved in this case were a part of.
“I have discussed this with Mayor Strickland and am pleased the city is pursuing an external, impartial investigation,” Lee continues. “Maria and I are praying for Tyre Nichols’ family, and we ask that God bring peace, healing and justice to the Memphis community in these difficult days.”
Senator Marsha Blackburn also posted on Twitter Friday saying, “The footage released tonight is difficult to watch. My office has been in contact with DOJ and will continue to work with our federal and local officials. I am confident the Memphis Police Department and State of Tennessee will conduct a thorough investigation. Chuck and I are praying for the loved ones of Tyre Nichols and for peace in Memphis and across our state.”
Sister station WREG in Memphis reports that after reviewing bodycam footage the Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis said, “In my 36 years in law enforcement, I don’t think I have witnessed the disregard for a human being displayed in this video.”
Five former police officers who were employed by the Memphis Police Department, have been fired for misconduct, indicted by and grand jury were taken into custody Thursday. Those officers are Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith, WREG reports.
Each officer is being charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of official misconduct, and official oppression.
New reports from WREG say that as of Friday morning, they are now out on bond.
According to Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy, police stopped Nichols near his home on Jan. 7 at around 8:22 p.m. There was an altercation between Nichols and several officers and pepper spray was deployed.
WREG also reports that Nichols died three days after the incident.
Recently released footage shows the whole incident from multiple angles and can be found here. Warning viewer discretion is advised as the footage does contain graphic content and language.