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Statement from United States Attorney Kevin G. Ritz

Statement from United States Attorney Kevin G. Ritz

Memphis, TN – Kevin G. Ritz, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, issued the following statement today: 

“Last week, we announced that the United States had opened a federal civil rights investigation into the circumstances leading to the tragic death of Tyre Nichols.

Earlier this week I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Nichols’s mother, father, grandmother, and aunt. I had the privilege of hearing from them about Tyre, a young man who enjoyed skateboarding, Starbucks, and sunsets at Shelby Farms.

I would like to share with the community what I told Mr. Nichols’s family. What I said was that the Department of Justice cares deeply about potential violations of constitutional rights, here in Memphis and throughout America. I said we have opened a criminal civil rights investigation. I told them this federal civil rights investigation will be thorough. It will be methodical. And it will continue until we gather all the relevant facts. As with any other federal investigation, we will go where those facts take us.

I delivered that message to them. I want this community to hear that message as well. As I told Mr. Nichols’s family, our federal investigation may take some time. These things often do. But we will be diligent, and we will make decisions based on the facts and the law.

My office is working hand in hand with the Civil Rights Division in Washington, as well as the FBI and other law enforcement partners. Our team includes very experienced federal prosecutors from our office here in Memphis. It includes very experienced FBI agents from the FBI’s Memphis Field Office. It also includes a very experienced attorney from the Civil Rights Division.

We have been in constant, very constructive communication with the Shelby County District Attorney and state and local law enforcement agencies about this case. I am thankful for that, and I expect that to continue.

Finally, I know there is significant public interest in the release of the video that was shown to Mr. Nichols’s family. The state and local authorities have responsibility for determining when to release video from this incident to the public. What I will say on behalf of the federal authorities is that we want people to express their right to be heard, but we want them to do so in a peaceful and non-violent way.

I’ll close by saying that I grew up in this city and care deeply about it. I want this city to be a place where justice is done. The United States is committed to following the facts and the law, guided by principles of justice every step of the way.”

###For more information, please contact Public Information Officer Cherri Green at (901) 544-4231 or Follow @WDTNNews on Twitter for office news and updates.