Tyre Nichols’ family files landmark civil lawsuit against Memphis after death following police encounter

The family of Tyre Nichols has filed a lawsuit against the city of Memphis, its police department and several officers following his January 2023 death.

Attorneys representing the family of Tyre Nichols have filed what they describe as a “landmark” civil lawsuit against the city of Memphis, its police department, and individual officers following the 29-year-old’s death in January. 

The lawsuit, which seeks a jury trial and financial damages, names as defendants the city of Memphis, Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis, the five officers who have been fired and charged in Nichols’ death, another officer who has been fired but not charged, and an additional officer who retired before he could be fired, according to The Associated Press. 

The Memphis Police Department, when asked by Fox News Digital this morning for their reaction to the lawsuit, said “we do not comment on pending litigation.”

Nichols was stopped by police on Jan. 7 for alleged “reckless driving” and was yanked from his car as officers threatened to shock him with a Taser. Officers claimed a “confrontation occurred” during the traffic stop before Nichols attempted to flee the scene. Officers caught up with Nichols and began to kick him, punch him and hit him with a baton as he screamed for his mother. 

During the incident, Nichols was complaining about having shortness of breath. He was eventually transported to a hospital in critical condition and died on Jan. 10. 

Memphis Police Department Officers Demetrius Haley, Tadarrius Bean, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, and Justin Smith have since been terminated and charged with second-degree murder, to which they have pleaded not guilty. 

This photo provided by the Nichols family shows Tyre Nichols, who died after being stopped by police on Jan. 7, 2023.

This photo provided by the Nichols family shows Tyre Nichols, who died after being stopped by police on Jan. 7, 2023. (Courtesy of the Nichols family via AP)

The lawsuit also names three Memphis Fire Department employees who were fired after officials said they failed to render aid to Nichols as he was on the ground, struggling with his injuries, the AP added. 

The U.S. Department of Justice is reviewing the Memphis Police Department’s policies on the use of force, de-escalation strategies and specialized units in response to Nichols’ death. 

Attorneys representing Nichols are expected to hold a press conference at 1 p.m. ET to discuss the lawsuit. 

Fox News’ Landon Mion and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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