On Wednesday, a court order Wednesday delayed the release of about 20 hours of footage from the fatal beating of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols at the hands of Memphis police officers. A Memphis judge ruled nearly 20 hours of additional footage and internal documents related to the city’s investigation into the death of Nichols cannot be released until the lawyers for the five former Memphis police officers charged in his death have seen the new video. The delay came on the same day the U.S. Justice Department said it would review the Memphis Police Department and the use of specialized units within law enforcement in the wake of Nichols’ killing in January.
The court order read: “The court orders that the release of videos, audio, reports, and personnel files of City of Memphis employees related to this indictment and investigation (to include administrative hearings, records and related files) shall be delayed until such time as the state and the defendants have reviewed this information The release of this information shall be subject to further orders of this court and, in the public interest, will be ordered as soon as possible.” Body camera footage released last month showed multiple officers beating, pepper spraying and using a stun gun on Nichols after a traffic stop and sparked protests in Memphis and around the country. Nichols died three days after the beating on Jan. 10.
The Justice Department also said on Wednesday that its Community Oriented Policing Services office will conduct a review of certain policies and practices by the Memphis police at the request of Mayor Jim Strickland and Police Chief Cerelyn Davis. The review will cover “policies, practices training, data and processes related to the MPD’s use of force, de-escalation and specialized units.”
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