Two Memphis Fire Department employees ‘relieved of duty’ in Tyre Nichols case

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The Memphis Fire Department did not identify the two people facing discipline or say whether they were firefighters. It was also not clear if the employees were being paid while they were not working or if they would eventually return to their duties.

“This is an ongoing investigation, and we cannot comment further at this time,” said Qwanesha Ward, public information officer for the Memphis Fire Department, in the written statement.

Tire Nichols, a 29-year-old father of a 4-year-old son, died in hospital on January 10 from injuries sustained during his arrest three days earlier by five Memphis police officers.

All five officers, who are also Black, were fired after police officials determined they violated various department policies, including using excessive force, failing to intervene, and failing to render aid.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations, the FBI and the Department of Justice are investigating the incident, which was caught on police officers’ body cameras.

High-profile civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Nichols’ family members in the case, compared the footage to the 1991 beating of Rodney King by police officers of Los Angeles.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

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