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Press Release

Statement from United States Attorney Kevin G. Ritz

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Tennessee

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.

Updated January 25, 2023