Lindsey Graham supports ‘liability’ for police departments in wake of Tyre Nichols’ death
Lindsey Graham supports 'liability' for police departments in wake of Tyre Nichols' deathAsher Notheis
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) wrote on Sunday in support of police departments facing liability for the actions of the officers it employs.
Graham’s statement on social media comes after footage was released showing Tyre Nichols, 29, beaten to death by five officers with the Memphis Police Department, which Graham called “appalling.” The South Carolina senator compared police departments to businesses, and that like businesses, police departments ought to be responsible for the products or services it provides.
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“I oppose civil lawsuits against individual officers,” Graham wrote. “However, holding police departments accountable makes sense and they should face liability for the misconduct of their officers.”
The footage of Nichols’s death was released a little over two weeks after he died. All five of the officers involved in Nichols’s beating, Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith, were promptly fired from the department before receiving criminal charges, with the street crime unit they were a part of being dissolved on Saturday.
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The criminal charges all five face include second-degree murder, two counts of official misconduct, one count of official oppression, aggravated assault-act in concert, and two counts of aggravated kidnapping. Haley, Martin, and Smith were released after paying a $350,000 bond, and Bean and Mills were also released on a $250,000 bond.
“It is clear that these officers violated the department’s policies and training,” read a statement from Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland (D) “But we are doing everything we can to prevent this from happening again. We are initiating an outside, independent review of the training, policies, and operations of our specialized units.”