The family of Tyre Nichols has sued the city of Memphis, individual officers and emergency medical personnel involved in his case. Lawyers for Tyre Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells, filed the lawsuit Wednesday in federal court in Memphis.
The suit, seen by The Associated Press, seeks a jury trial and financial damages. The lawsuit accuses Memphis Police Director Cerelyn “CJ” Davis of starting a crime-suppression unit called Scorpion that officials said would target repeat violent offenders in high-crime areas. The five officers charged with beating Nichols were members of the unit, police have said. The unit was disbanded after the Nichols beating.
Nichols died in January, three days after a brutal beating by five Memphis police officers. It was the latest in a string of violent encounters between police and Black people that have spurred protests and renewed public discussion about police brutality. The officers have been charged with second-degree murder.
The lawsuit names as defendants the city of Memphis, Davis, the five officers who have been fired and charged, another officer who has been fired but not charged, and an additional officer who retired before he could be fired. It 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.