Tyre Nichols death: Officer retired with benefits day before hearing to fire him

Published date18 March 2023
Publication titleIrish Times: Web Edition Articles (Dublin, Ireland)
Lt DeWayne Smith was identified in records obtained by media outlets as the officer that officials said earlier this month had retired before his termination hearing

Some Memphis City Council members were upset an officer was allowed to retire before steps could be taken to fire them, including the council's vice-chairman JB Smiley Jr, who said it did not seem fair that the then-unidentified officer could keep their pension and other benefits.

"I just don't like the fact that his parents are paying this officer to go on and live and that's troubling," Mr Smiley said.

The lawyer for Mr Nichols' family said the department should not have let Smith "cowardly sidestep the consequences of his actions" and retire after 25 years.

"We call for Memphis police and officials to do everything in their power to hold Lt Smith and all of those involved fully accountable," lawyer Ben Crump said.

Seven other Memphis officers were fired after Mr Nichols died following a traffic stop on January 7th and five of them are charged with second-degree murder. Smith was not charged over Mr Nichols' death.

Mr Nichols (29) was pulled roughly from his car as an officer threatened to shock him with a Taser. He ran, but was chased. Video footage showed five officers held him down and repeatedly struck him with their fists, boots and batons as he screamed for his mother.

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