Tyre Nichols dies after police use-of-force during a traffic stop as Memphis community demands answers

Memphis, Tennessee - The Memphis Police Department (MPD) are conducting an investigation after a man died shortly after two so-called "confrontations" with officers following a traffic stop.

A Memphis man died a few days after having two confrontations with police officers during a traffic stop, and now his family and friends are demanding answers.
A Memphis man died a few days after having two confrontations with police officers during a traffic stop, and now his family and friends are demanding answers.  © IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

According to a statement from the MPD, Tyre Nichols was pulled over on the night of January 7 for reckless driving.

"As officers approached the driver of the vehicle, a confrontation occurred, and the suspect fled the scene on foot," the statement read.

Officers pursued and caught Nichols and while they tried to detain him again, "another confrontation occurred" before he was "ultimately apprehended."

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Nichols complained of having shortness of breath, and was transported to St. Francis Hospital in critical condition.

In an update from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Nichols died while in the hospital on January 10, three days after the confrontation.

The MPD temporarily relieved all involved officers of their duties and placed them on administrative leave pending the results of an investigation.

Statements from authorities have been vague about the "confrontations" that took place, and have given no details as to Nichols' injuries and how he sustained them.

Nichols' family, friends, and community have been left in the dark, and believe there's more to the story. They are now demanding answers.

The Memphis mayor and chief of police respond to the death of Tyre Nichols

Memphis Police are conducting an internal investigation into the death of Tyre Nichols (file photo).
Memphis Police are conducting an internal investigation into the death of Tyre Nichols (file photo).  © BRAD VEST / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

Memphis mayor Jim Strickland and police chief CJ Davis released a joint statement, stating that body cam footage from the incident "will be released publicly after the completion of the internal investigation into the actions of the officers, and after the family of Mr. Nichols has had the opportunity to review the video privately."

Nichols' family and friends, along with activists and community leaders, held a protest outside the National Civil Rights Museum on Monday, demanding that the footage be released immediately, and all officers involved be held accountable.

"It doesn't mean anything to me until the officers are arrested and charged," the victim's stepfather Rodney Wells told WREG Memphis.

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"We need action," he added.

A memorial service was held for Nichols on Tuesday, with many community members reportedly in tears.

The mayor and chief of police said they expect the police department's internal investigation will be completed by the end of the week.

Cover photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

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