Tyre Nichols case: 2 deputies at man's arrest, beating suspended after investigation, county says

What happened to Tyre Nichols? The 29-year-old was repeatedly punched, kicked by police during traffic stop; he died days later

ByJamiel Lynch and Jennifer Feldman, CNN
Thursday, February 16, 2023
2 deputies at Tyre Nichols' arrest, beating suspended: county
Two deputies at the scene of Tyre Nichols' beating and arrest have been suspended after an investigation, the county said.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Two Shelby County sheriff's deputies who were at the scene of Tyre Nichols' deadly arrest in Tennessee last month violated department regulations and have been suspended for five days each without pay, according to a news release from the sheriff's office obtained by CNN affiliate WHBQ.

The suspensions of both Shelby County deputies who were at the scene of Nichols' beating by Memphis police became effective on Wednesday, the release reads.

Both Deputy Jeremy Watkins and Deputy Johntavious Bowers were found to have failed to report to dispatch or their supervisor that they were on the scene, failed to have their body-worn camera in record mode and failed to report to dispatch they were leaving the scene, the department said in investigative reports obtained by WHBQ.

Additionally, Watkins did not note in his daily log that he was on the scene, one of the reports says.

"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," Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner Jr. said in the release.

RELATED: Memphis police officer took photos of beaten Tyre Nichols and shared one with others, documents show

"Our investigation was thorough and complete. I am satisfied that the discipline given to these deputies is appropriate and just. We must continue to maintain the highest standards of excellence for the citizens of Shelby County through service, integrity, and accountability."

The department previously announced in January that two deputies at the scene were put on leave pending results of an investigation.

CNN has reached out to Watkins and Bowers for comment.

Nichols, 29, was repeatedly punched and kicked by police during a traffic stop and arrest in Memphis on Jan. 7. Nichols required hospitalization after the arrest and died three days later.

Five Memphis Police Department officers have been fired and criminally charged with second-degree murder for their involvement in the arrest and beatings, which were recorded on body camera and surveillance videos. A sixth Memphis officer was fired but has not been charged, and additional Memphis police officers may face further discipline, the city announced.

Three Memphis Fire Department personnel were also fired for their response after the arrest.

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