The Justice Department announced it will review the Memphis Police Department’s policies and practices following Tyre Nichols’ beating death.

The Justice Department is reviewing the Memphis Police Department after Tyre Nichols’ beating death.
The review was requested by Memphis’ mayor and police chief, the Justice Department said.
The review will also examine specialized police units in departments across the country.

At the request of Memphis’ mayor and police chief, the Justice Department will investigate the Memphis Police Department, as well as specialized police units across the country. The investigation was prompted by the death of Tyre Nichols, who was severely beaten by Memphis police officers.

The Justice Department announced Wednesday that its Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, also known as COPS, will be reviewing the department’s “policies, practices, training, data and processes” related to use-of-force and de-escalation tactics. It will also review specialized street crime units like the SCORPION Unit, which the department deactivated after Nichols’ death.

The review was requested by Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn J. Davis, according to the DOJ.

Nichols died on January 10, just days after being beaten by five Memphis police officers, all of whom were members of the SCORPION Unit. All five officers were fired, have been charged with murder, and have pleaded not guilty. 

The brutal beating at the hands of SCORPION Unit officers raised questions about the roles of specialized police units nationwide. Experts previously told Insider that some — like SWAT teams or K-9 teams — can serve vital roles in police departments, while others can wreak havoc on communities if their mandates are unclear, or if officers are insufficiently trained or supervised.

Part of the federal investigation will involve producing a “guide” about specialized police units to help police chiefs and mayors determine whether such units are appropriate for a police department, and how best to manage and oversee them, the Justice Department said in a statement.

“In the wake of Tyre Nichols’s tragic death, the Justice Department has heard from police chiefs across the country who are assessing the use of specialized units and, where used, appropriate management, oversight and accountability for such units,” Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta said in the statement. 

She said the Justice Department’s findings on the specialized units will be a “critical resource” for police departments committed to “effective community policing that respects …read more

Source:: Business Insider


Tyre Nichols death: Memphis mayor and police chief requested DOJ’s review of the police department

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