*A termination hearing had been planned for the Memphis police supervisor who was on the scene when officers viciously beat Tyre Nichols. But Lt. DeWayne Smith was allowed to retire with his benefits the day before he would have been held responsible for controversial actions.
“We call for Memphis police and officials to do everything in their power to hold Lt. Smith and all of those involved fully accountable,” the Nichols’ family attorney, Ben Crump, said, per MSN.
Crump said the department allowed Smith to “cowardly sidestep the consequences of his actions.”
Smith reportedly retired after 25 years in law enforcement.
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Five of the seven Memphis officers who were fired after Nichols died have been charged with second-degree murder.
As we reported previously, citing CNN, on January 8, the Memphis police department announced that Nichols had been pulled over by officers for reckless driving the previous day. “As officers approached the driver of the vehicle, a confrontation occurred and the suspect fled the scene on foot,” officials said in a statement posted on social media.
Officers pursued Nichols, 29, as they attempted to take him into custody and beat him senseless.
“Afterward, the suspect complained of having a shortness of breath, at which time an ambulance was called to the scene. The suspect was transported to St. Francis Hospital in critical condition,” officials said.
Nichols died a few days later, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The disturbing police body-cam footage was ultimately released and shows him being pummeled by the cops near his mother’s home.
The initial police report, according to CNN, said Nichols “started to fight” with officers and at one point grabbed one of their guns. But neither claim was substantiated by the police videos that were released.
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