The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it will review the Memphis Police Department's (MPD) use of force and arrest reduction measures following the January death of Tyre Nichols at the hands of five officers. In addition, it will provide an analysis of the performance of special forces in the rest of the country.
Through a statement issued Wednesday, the DOJ's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) said it will be conducting these reviews of the MPD, requested by Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn J. Davis. Upon completion of the reviews, the COPS Office will issue a report.
"I know that this opportunity to work with MPD, as well as our examination of specialized units in law enforcement agencies across the country, will be important resources for both law enforcement and the communities they serve," said COPS Office Director Hugh T. Clements Jr.
With regard to the review of special forces in the rest of the nation, the COPS Office will develop a guide to assist police departments that indicates how officers should act in certain situations. Vanita Gupta, deputy attorney general, said:
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. The COPS Office guide on specialized units will be a critical resource for law enforcement, mayors and community members committed to effective community policing that respects the dignity of community members and keeps people safe.
Delay in the release of new images
About 20 hours of dash-cam video footage of the officers involved in Tyre Nichols' death was scheduled to be released Wednesday. So far, they have not be disclosed. In a statement, City of Memphis Deputy Spokeswoman Allison J. Fouche explained why they have not yet been publicized:
The release of this information shall be subject to further orders of the court and, in the public interest, will be ordered as soon as practicable. It has ordered that no video, audio, or records related to the City's administrative investigation may be released until further order by the court.