Retired Memphis cop must face punishment in death Nichols Photos: Family
Memphis Police Superintendent retired with benefits shortly before He was going to be fired Nichols’ stepfather said Saturday that his role in Tyre Nichols’ beating death must be held accountable.
“For this lieutenant to be able to retire thinking he will be able to escape the consequences of his actions, we are not going to let that happen,” Rodney Wells said during a rally at the Rev. National Action Network headquarters in Al Sharpton.
The retired lieutenant was identified Friday in records obtained by the media as DeWayne Smith.
“This shield does not enable you to go out and commit murder. I hope, through all of this, that we get justice for Tyre and justice for all the other families going through this hardship,” Hasan said during an appearance in Harlem.
The documents revealed that Smith, who was at the scene when Nichols, 29, was struck, heard him say “I can’t breathe” but failed to get medical attention or remove the handcuffs.
The documents said Smith also told Nichols’ family that he was drink driving – although there was no information to support the charge. Investigators said Smith determined without evidence that Nichols was on drugs or drunk, and he was captured on video when he arrived on the scene and told Nichols, “I did something.”
Smith’s retirement came before the hearing.
Seven more Memphis officers were fired after Nichols’ death after January 11th. 7 traffic stops five of them charged with second-degree murder.
Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells, recounted how officers knocked on her door on January 3. 7 for telling her that Nichols had been arrested for drink driving.
“I was so confused that my son doesn’t drink like that. He has an occasional bear every blue moon but not in the way they describe,” she said.
She said they also asked if he was on any medication or taking medications because he had “super strength”.
“I’m standing there and it doesn’t look like my son. What are you talking about?” She said.
Wells said Nichols “was just a good boy”.
“He was going to live his life and he got his life together because he has a 5-year-old son,” she said. “He was less than 800 feet from where they caught him and killed him and beat him to death.”
Wells said she had not seen it videos that showed the brutal beating of Nichols, who had cried out for his mother during the assault. He died three days later.
“I didn’t watch the video because I didn’t need to watch the video. I already saw what they did to my son. I didn’t need to see how they did it,” he says through a tear.