Federal civil rights investigation opened into Tyre Nichols’ death

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The U.S. Attorney for The Western District of Tennessee announced the opening of a federal civil rights investigation into the death of Tyre Nichols. This is the third separate investigation into this incident.

Nichols was stopped by Memphis Police on the night of Jan. 7. Although police have not released specifics about what happened next, they saw Nichols ran and had a confrontation with police. Nichols was injured and was taken to the hospital where he died on January 10th.

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The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating the use of force by officers involved in that incident and will turn its findings over to the Shelby County District Attorney for any possible criminal prosecution.

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In addition, the City of Memphis is conducting an internal investigation and has filed a notice of administrative action against those involved. Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland says an administrative hearing will take place this week for any possible departmental discipline.

Here is the statement from U.S. Attorney Kevin G. Ritz:

“Last week, Tyre Nichols tragically died, a few days after he was involved in an incident where Memphis Police Department officers used force during his arrest. State authorities have publicly announced that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating. In addition, the United States Attorney’s Office, in coordination with the FBI Memphis Field Office and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, has opened a civil rights investigation. As this is an open investigation, we are not able to provide additional comment or release further information at this time.”

The City of Memphis provided the following statement regarding the federal investigation:

“We are aware that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and US Department of Justice are conducting a civil rights investigation into the death of Tyre Nichols. The City of Memphis and MPD will fully cooperate with these agencies and provide them with what is needed to conduct their investigation.”