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US Department of Justice to investigate Memphis police following the killing of Tire Nichols

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By Kanishka Singh

WASHINGTON (RockedBuzz via Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department is expected to participate in a review of the Memphis Police Department after the death of Tire Nichols, a 29-year-old black man beaten to death by officers in the Tennessee city last month, according to city ​​officials.

The review was disclosed in a bulletin by Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. The bulletin said the Justice Department and the International Association of Police Chiefs will participate in an “independent external review” requested by the city to evaluate the Memphis Police Department’s special units and use-of-force policies.

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.

Memphis Police on Friday fired a sixth officer involved in Nichols’ death. Five other officers, all black, had previously been fired and charged with second-degree murder. The fired sixth officer is white.

Nichols repeatedly shouted, “Mom! Mommy!” as the five Memphis police officers charged with the black motorist’s murder punched him with kicks, punches and baton slaps after a Jan. 7 traffic stop, video released by the city showed.

He was hospitalized and died of his injuries three days after the crash in the city where he lived with his mother and stepfather and worked at FedEx.

His death further fueled an ongoing national debate in the United States about race and police brutality.

The Justice Department’s Office of Community-Oriented Police Services will participate in the review, the city said.

Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells, and her stepfather, Rodney Wells, will attend President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address in Washington on Tuesday.

Nichols’ funeral, held Wednesday at a Memphis church, was attended by Vice President Kamala Harris and relatives of other blacks killed by police in US cities.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Will Dunham)