At his funeral, RowVaughn Wells, the mother of Tire Nichols, speaks with Rev. Al Sharpton (left), her husband Rodney Wells (back), and lawyer Ben Crump (right).
Tennessee’s MEMPHIS — The mayor of Memphis said he doesn’t know where the money will come from, and Memphis could be forced to pay tens of millions of dollars in a wrongful death lawsuit for Tire Nichols.
High-profile Minneapolis police death litigation was recently settled in other cities for $27 million in the case of George Floyd and $12 million in the case of Breonna Taylor.
Attorney Ben Crump negotiated settlements in the Floyd and Taylor cases. He also symbolizes the family of Tire Nichols.
After the historic Minneapolis settlement, Crump remarked, “It sends a message that the unjust killing of black lives is no longer dismissed as trivial.”
A multimillion-dollar lawsuit will test Memphis’ already limited $750 million budget. Thirty-eight percent of the total budget goes to the police department, with $1.25 million of that budget set aside for legal expenses.
“It is not automatic that the city has to pay money. But we will have to defend legal claims,” Mayor Jim Strickland said.
If a case worth more than $1.25 million is settled, we questioned Strickland about where the remaining funds will come from.
“I don’t know,” he said.
Strickland made it plain that he could not comment on ongoing legal matters. WREG has contacted Crump’s legal counsel regarding the potential for launching a lawsuit, but they have not yet answered.
The new information concerning Memphis police procedures may lead to other lawsuits, and Crump is now Cornell McKinney’s attorney. Cornell McKinney had dealings with the now-defunct SCORPION squad. Regarding his interaction with the same officers now accused of Nichols’ death, another individual, Monterrious Harris, has brought a $5 million lawsuit against those parties.
An in-depth look into the complaints made concerning the MPD SCORPION unit
Here are some of the most recent articles we’ve written about regarding Nichols Death:
- A Timeline of the Investigations Into Tyre Nichols’ Death After a Traffic Stop and Arrest by Memphis Police
- Memphis Police Release Footage of Tyre Nichols Death
According to Joanna Schwartz, a UCLA School of Law professor and the author of the soon-to-be-released book Shielded:
How the Police Became Sacred,”I expect that any civil damages lawsuit brought by the Tire Nichols family will be settled quickly and for a significant sum of money.”
Because Memphis’ judicial procedures make it challenging for citizens to hold police accountable, each potential Nichols settlement will probably be distinct, according to Schwartz.
She claims that the city does not pay officers. Hence it will not defend an officer in court.
“Officials don’t pay because they don’t have the kind of assets that a plaintiff and his attorney in these cases would consider deep enough to file a lawsuit,” Schwartz said.
She added that lawsuits do not promote long-term modification of police conduct.
“There have been studies that show that the risk of being sued is not among the top ten thoughts on most officers’ minds,” Schwartz said.
CJ Davis is missing. Because the MPD chief avoids the media, the mayor backs her.
Instead, she claimed that changes are most effectively made through reforms and the cooperation of the Justice Department.
RowVaughn Wells, Nichols’ mother, has endorsed Crump’s efforts for police reform.
“No mother should go through what I’m going through right now,” Wells said.
In front of Tire Nichols’ funeral, the family and leaders push for policy change.
You have to read some of the Top Posts we’ve written about here:
- Two Florida Police Officers Are Accused of Assaulting and Kidnapping a Homeless Man
- Miyuki Ueta, Japanese Killer Chokes To Death on Prison Food While Awaiting Execution
Changes in Louisville’s search warrant execution and 911 call response procedures affected the city’s comparison to Breonna Taylor’s mother.
According to Schwartz, legal reforms may be part of the Nichols case settlement.
“It seems like much attention has been paid to these elite units. I suspect there will be a reconsideration of these units shortly,” Schwartz said.
Additionally, the Justice Department announced a federal civil rights inquiry into the Nichols case.
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