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Attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci React to Newly Released Documents in Tyre Nichols Case

March 18, 2023

Senior officer at Tyre Nichols’ arrest retired before he could be terminated 

MEMPHIS, Tenn. –– Nationally renowned civil rights and personal injury attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci have issued a statement following reporting that the senior officer at the Tyre Nichols’ arrest, Lt. Dewayne Smith, retired before a disciplinary hearing on the case.  

Tyre Nichols died on Jan. 10, days after he was involved in a traffic stop conducted by the Memphis Police Department that left him critically injured. Nichols fled the traffic stop scene, and the police began to chase him. Police brutalized him to the point of being unrecognizable.  

Attorneys for the family issued the following statement: 

"The Nichols family and their legal team are deeply disturbed that Memphis Police allowed and accepted the retirement of Lt. Dewayne Smith, in light of his immediately pending disciplinary hearing for his decisions and behavior related to Tyre Nichols' death. We believe Lt. Smith was the highest-ranking officer at the scene after the brutal beating, and we've seen that Smith observed Tyre's dire medical condition and did not render or direct immediate medical attention. Further, police reports indicate Smith failed to fully assess the scene, or examine the facts behind the officers' narrative, which was false. Tyre's parents believe Smith was one of the first officers who came to their house and told them about Tyre's beating, said Tyre was involved in a DUI or on drugs, and did not tell them about the severity of the situation or allow them to see their son. In fact, Tyre's mother asked if she could see her son in the hospital and Lt. Smith told her no. We call for Memphis police and officials to do everything in their power to hold Lt. Smith and all of those involved fully accountable and not allow Lt. Smith to cowardly sidestep the consequences of his actions. His cowardice in resigning and not facing his own disciplinary board to defend himself is not an end-around on accountability or reckoning." 



Through his work, nationally renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump has spearheaded a legal movement to better protect the rights of marginalized citizens. He has led landscape-changing civil rights cases and represented clients in a wide range of areas including civil rights, personal injury, labor and employment, class actions, and more. Ben Crump Law is dedicated to holding the powerful accountable. For more information, visit 

About Romanucci & Blandin, LLC 

Romanucci & Blandin is a Chicago-based national trial practice committed to fighting for victims of negligence, abuse and wrongful death. For 25 years, we have secured more than $850 million in verdicts and settlements for our clients - many for millions of dollars and others record-setting awards.  Our experience ranges from mass shootings, civil rights and police misconduct to medical malpractice, sexual abuse, motor vehicle accidents or workplace injury cases involving individual or institutional negligence. Romanucci & Blandin is a valuable legal resource to individuals and groups of people who have been injured by others’ wrongdoing. Referring attorneys and clients say several factors differentiate our firm: Our record of success, depth of experience, talented and dedicated legal team, tireless preparation and strategic use of communications to fight for the rights of those whose lives have been changed forever. We are different from other personal injury firms in that our work does not stop when a verdict or settlement is secured.  We are often inspired by our clients’ experiences and commit resources to create change in our communities. For more information about Romanucci & Blandin, please visit or call (312) 458-1000. 

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