Memphis NAACP Prez Says Charges in Tyre Nichols Case Could Be Adjusted
Memphis NAACP Prez Charges in Tyre Nichols Case Could Be Adjusted
1/30/2023 12:58 PM PT
The charges 5 ex-Memphis PD officers are facing in the Tyre Nichols murder case can, and should, be tweaked based on evidence and what's most likely to secure convictions ... according to an NAACP chief.
We spoke to Van Turner Jr. -- the President of Memphis' NAACP branch -- Monday on "TMZ Live" to discuss the fallout of the release of bodycam and surveillance footage depicting the fatal beating Tyre endured at the hands of officers earlier this month.
There's been talk about a possible defense the officers could argue based on some of what they've been charged with -- 2nd-degree murder and kidnapping -- and how they could potentially be acquitted. So, the question becomes ... are different charges more appropriate?
Turner Jr. says he believes the investigation is still very much fluid and, depending on further evidence that surfaces, it would be totally appropriate to tweak the charges against these men -- potentially upgrading them to felony first-degree murder.
We also asked Van if the release of the bodycam footage has prompted other citizens to come forward about run-ins with MPD's SCORPION Unit -- which has since been disbanded amid outrage.
He says there have been more accounts about the way they conduct their business ... and there's now a wider investigation into whether the way they handled Tyre was SOP for that group of cops.
Bottom line ... there's still a lot of unanswered questions and a lot more accountability that needs to be reached -- and the city of Memphis, not to mention the rest of the country, are loudly demanding it happen sooner than later.
Turner Jr. also poses a powerful rhetorical question here: How many more of these deaths do we need to witness before meaningful police reform is translated into law in the U.S.?