Tyre Nichols’ mother files civil lawsuit against city of Memphis, police over his death


(MEMPHIS, Tenn.) — Tyre Nichols’ mother has sued the city of Memphis and members of the police over his death following a violent traffic stop in the city, court records show.

Nichols, 29, died three days after he was beaten by police during a Jan. 7 traffic stop. Body camera footage of the altercation showed officers striking Nichols repeatedly.

The 139-page, 25-count civil complaint, filed Wednesday in federal court, includes allegations of excessive force and “deliberate indifference to serious medical needs,” and called the traffic stop “unreasonable.”

It also claims the police department failed to properly train its officers, including those in the now-deactivated SCORPION unit that was involved in Nichols’ arrest.

“The City of Memphis, through the Memphis Police Department, maintained a custom of tolerance for SCORPION Officers’ unreasonable search and seizure of individuals, use of excessive force, and the violation of the Fourth Amendment prior to the violation of Tyre Nichols’ constitutional rights and death,” the complaint states.

The lawsuit also claims that Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells, suffered emotional distress due to “negligent acts and omissions” by officers following the incident and that police made “false representations” to her regarding her son’s condition.

The complaint, which is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, is demanding a jury trial.

Members of Nichols’ family will be attending a Wednesday afternoon press briefing outside the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office in Memphis to announce the filing, their attorneys said.

ABC News has reached out to the city of Memphis for comment on the pending litigation.

All five officers who were directly involved in the beating have been charged with second-degree murder. The officers all pleaded not guilty in their first court appearance on Feb. 17.

Seven other police officers were terminated following the incident, according to city of Memphis chief legal officer Jennifer Sink.

The incident has also sparked a Department of Justice review of the Memphis Police Department’s use-of-force and de-escalation policies.

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