Reports indicate police supervisor retired with benefits a day before termination hearing in Tyre Nichols’ death.

According to reports from the media, Lt. DeWayne Smith, a police supervisor who responded to Tyre Nichols’ arrest scene, retired with benefits on March 1st – the day before his termination hearing. He had spent 25 years serving in the Memphis police force and was facing disciplinary charges for neglect of duty, unauthorized public statements and compliance with regulations.

During Nichols’ arrest on January 7th that ultimately led to his death three days later due to injuries sustained during a brutal beating by several Memphis police officers, Smith failed to provide medical care or remove handcuffs despite hearing him say “I can’t breathe.” Furthermore, he neglected obtaining reports from other officers about their use of force despite noticing Nichols’ injuries.

In violation of department policy, Smith also failed to wear his body camera during the arrest and falsely informed Nichols’ family that he had been driving under influence without any supporting evidence.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump representing Nichols’ family expressed concern over the retirement of this senior officer and urged Memphis officials not to let it sidestep accountability for his actions. Seven officers were fired over Nichol’s death including five charged with second-degree murder while three members of Memphis Fire Department were terminated for failing to provide medical care.

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