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Tyre Nichols' family files lawsuit against MPD, citing multiple forms of negligence

Memphis Commercial Appeal
April 19, 2023

At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, civil rights attorney Ben Crump — alongside a large legal team, Nichols' family and activists — called the suit a "landmark lawsuit" because of the monetary compensation the suit is seeking, which Crump said honored Martin Luther King, Jr. with $10 million for each year since his assassination, and the scope of the lawsuit.

"The amount we are suing for is a message," Crump said. "It is our mission to make it financially unsustainable for these police oppression units to unjustly kill Black people in the future. What makes this a landmark lawsuit is that we're going to see, in the near future, these officers admit that this is how they were trained. This is going to be the first time in America where we're going to hear police officers saying, 'No, we weren't just bad apples. We were not just somebody out for Saturday night kicks to beat up somebody. This is what they trained us to do to young, Black men.'"

Co-counsel Antonio Romanucci said the lawsuit has a unique opportunity to create change.

"This is one of the first times that we know that constitutional violations were given as an order for the SCORPION Unit to carry out when Chief Davis told her SCORPION Unit, 'Get the cars. Don't worry if the case is tossed in court,'" Romanucci said. "That is an unconstitutional edict. When you have officers on the scene who talk about, 'Make sure you stomp his ass,' you're going to get needless harm, unnecessary death. All of these people are accountable...and we're going to start from the top with Chief Cerelyn Davis."

Read more of Lucas Finton's reporting in the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

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