Experts explain how the swift handling of the Tyre Nichols case could impact future cases
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Memphis officials are receiving praise for their quick response to charge and fire the officers accused of beating Tyre Nichols to death.
Many people have called for that level of swift response to be the norm going forward in future cases across the country, but is that realistic?
Legal analyst Franz Borghardt explained why that might be easier said than done.
“Depending on what agency we’re talking about in Louisiana, it differs on whether you can fire an officer or not fire an officer,” said Borghardt.
In Baton Rouge, the police chief would have to go through the Civil Service Commission to get an officer fired, which could be a longer process than in Memphis.
However, East Baton Rouge Parish deputies are at-will employees. Meaning, a deputy can get fired as quickly as the former Memphis officers.
Borghardt says any action still depends on the situation.
“Swift justice needs to be tempered with a certain level of patience only because we want to make sure we do it right,” said Borghardt.
If an agency moves too quickly, Borghardt says that could jeopardize an investigation.
In Memphis, he says the right pieces were in place for them to move forward as soon as they did.
“Most prosecutors don’t want to do things that quickly unless there’s clearcut obvious evidence. In Memphis, we had clearcut obvious evidence. We had video that showed the entire thing. So, it wasn’t a leap for them to move that quickly,” said Borghardt.
Borghardt gave his opinion on how the public should engage if this were to happen again in the future.
“We should want to be in the middle. We should want swift justice, but not so swift that it invalidates a conviction because the parties, the prosecution and the defense were not able to do what they needed to do to solidify that conviction,” said Borghardt. “When we convict somebody, we want to make it stick. We don’t want it to be constitutionally questionable.”
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