Sunday (Jan. 7) will mark the first anniversary of the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols by a group of police officers in Memphis, Tennessee. Ahead of the sorrowful day, attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci released public remarks about the tragedy and continued pursuit of justice.
As previously reported by REVOLT, the father of one was pulled over for alleged reckless driving. A police report stated that he refused commands to exit his vehicle and attempted to grab an officer’s weapon. As a result, he was pepper sprayed, struck several times and a stun gun was deployed, all in an effort to subdue him. He died three days later due to suffering blunt force injuries to the head and various other injuries during the incident.
“What happened on January 7, 2023, was an unspeakable and inhumane tragedy that needlessly took the life of a gentle and peaceful person who was loved by so many,” said the family’s legal team. Crump and Romanucci added that they remain fiercely committed to police reform as a result of Nichols’ death. “The SCORPION unit officers involved acted at the direction of a Memphis Police Department policy that violated the civil rights of innocent civilians and caused needless pain to many,” they said. Five disgraced officers who were part of the special street team unit have been indicted in connection with the fatal beating.
“Additionally, we are deeply disturbed by the recent revelation by former Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland that he actively avoided signing and enforcing the Driving Equality Act in honor of Tyre Nichols,” the statement continued.
The act was approved unanimously by the city council in April. The measure aims to halt traffic stops for lesser infractions, such as non-functioning taillights. Advocates argue that police have used minor traffic violations to unfairly target Black drivers. The department insisted the protocol was vital in their efforts to combat illegal drugs, weapons and other severe offenses.
The attorneys say they will hold Mayor Paul Young accountable to his expressed support of reform measures. The statement concluded, “Our team has actively called for consistent, national systemic police reform since the murder of George Floyd. Had changes to law enforcement policies been enacted in 2020, we strongly believe Tyre Nichols would be alive today.”
Two candlelight vigils are scheduled to take place on Sunday, one in Memphis and another in Nichols’ hometown of Sacramento: Castlegate Ln & Ross Rd, Memphis, TN 38141 at 7 PM EST and Tyre Nichols Skate Park at 200 Regency Park Cir, Sacramento, CA 95835 at 6 PM PST.