US Justice Dept to review Memphis Police’s use of force

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US Justice Dept to review Memphis Police’s use of force

Washington: The US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it will perform a review of the Memphis Police Department’s use of force and de-escalation policies.

Officials of Memphis, Tennessee, requested this review, which will cover policies, practices, training, data, and processes related to the police department’s use of force, de-escalation, and specialized units, according to a DOJ statement.

At the conclusion of the review, the DOJ’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services will issue a public report outlining its findings and recommendations, Xinhua news agency reported.

On January 7, Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man, was repeatedly punched and kicked by five Memphis police officers following a traffic stop and brief pursuit on foot.

He died in a hospital on January 10, three days after a traffic stop by Memphis police.

On January 27, the Memphis Police Department released four graphic videos, totalling more than an hour of footage, showing the five former police officers, who are also black, brutally beating the victim.

Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills Jr, Emmitt Martin III and Justin Smith were fired after an internal investigation by the police department.

The five have pleaded not guilty.

The death of Nichols came nearly three years after the police murder of African-American man George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Floyd, 46, died on May 25, 2020, after an encounter with Minneapolis police, during which white officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes while making an arrest with other colleagues.

The police killing of Floyd sparked outrage and protests across the US in the summer of 2020 against police brutality and systemic racism.

Police killed 1,186 people in the US last year, according to Mapping Police Violence.

African-Americans were 26 per cent of those killed by police in 2022 despite accounting for only 13 per cent of the population.

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