DA’s office to review all cases for officers charged in Tyre Nichols’ death

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday it will review every case involving the five former officers charged in Tyre Nichols’ death, closed or pending.

The Memphis branch of the NAACP told FOX13 this is the right move, especially after seeing more people come forward with complaints about those officers and the unit they were part of, SCORPION.

Van Turner, president of the Memphis NAACP branch, said it is likely the history of other officers who were on the scene will be investigated, not just the five who were charged. He wants to see everyone involved held accountable.

“We want officers to serve and protect us, but not beat us and murder us,” he said. “Those who stood there and allowed him to die and bleed out? They are at fault as well. Everyone should be investigated and everyone should be brought to justice.”

" The Shelby County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday, Feb. 9, that the office will review all prior cases — closed and pending — of the five officers charged in the Tyre Nichols investigation,” the DA’s office said in a statement. “This is still an active and ongoing investigation.

Turner said he has seen others come forward to complain of brutality at the hands of the officers and their now-disbanded SCORPION Unit. He expects others to speak up as the review moves forward.

“More testimony and statements will be made and more individuals will come out because they feel safe to come out now, where there was a threat of retaliation before,” he said.

“This promotes respect for the law both in the community and by law enforcement when it is known that their actions will receive scrutiny and that they will be held accountable if they have abused the public’s trust and violated the law,” Andre Wharton, the attorney for a teen who claims he was beaten by three of the five officers said in a statement.

RELATED: Everything we know about the death of Tyre Nichols, video from confrontation

Attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci also praised the DA’s office for putting the cases under review.

“The legal team representing the family of Tyre Nichols is encouraged by the decision to dig deeper into the prior conduct of the officers involved and the continued investigation to hold all of those on scene, as well as those NOT on scene or supervisors, responsible for this heinous act,” they said in a statement.

Turner said he knows investigations can move slowly, but he has appreciated the transparency and swift action so far. He echoed the statement made by attorney Crump following the arrest of the five officers: that this should be a blueprint for the handling of future police brutality cases.

“Terminate and indict as you go along, and I think you build trust,” Turner said. “I think there is a level of trust there now because we have seen the correct thing done.”

Blake Ballin, attorney for former officer Desmon Mills, told FOX13 the review was not a surprise.

FOX13 reached out to the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office to find out how many cases could be reviewed but did not heard back.