Feb 15, 2023 - Politics & Policy

2 deputies suspended for their involvement in Tyre Nichols' death

Signs are placed on the steps of Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church on the morning of Tyre Nichols' funeral on February 1 in Memphis, Tennessee. Photo by Lucy Garrett/Getty Images

Two Shelby County Sheriff's deputies have been suspended for five days without pay for their involvement in the death of Tyre Nichols, the Shelby County Sheriff's Office (SCSO) said Wednesday.

Driving the news: Patrol deputies Jeremy Watkins and Johntavious Bowers were suspended after an internal investigation found they violated several regulations, including radio communication procedures and mobile video recording system procedures, among others, the SCSO said in a statement.

  • “Because I had concerns about two deputies who appeared on the scene following the physical confrontation between police and Tyre Nichols, I ordered this internal investigation,” said Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Jr. 
  • Both suspensions became effective on February 15.

The big picture: Watkins and Bowers are the latest officers disciplined for their involvement in the death of Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man​ who died days after he was fatally beaten by officers during a traffic stop on Jan. 7.

  • Five former Memphis Police Department officers have been charged with second-degree murder and other crimes over the death of Nichols.
  • Last month, the Memphis Police Department said it has so far relieved a total of seven officers, who were involved in the traffic stop, as part of its ongoing investigation into Nichols' death.

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