Memphis Police Department Has a Long History of Cops With Gang Ties

Last Updated on February 2, 2023

The Memphis Police Department has a long history of its cops being tied to violent street gangs, an issue that’s facing renewed scrutiny after the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols, and after reports have trickled in saying that some of the cops involved are members of the Vice Lords.

Three of the five Memphis police officers involved in the beating of Tyre Nichols, who later died at the hospital, could have ties to, or even be full-fledged members of, the Vice Lords street gang, and may have been carrying out a gang-ordered attack when they set upon Nichols.

“We are investigating a tip that 3 of the 5 officers in the Memphis PD beating of Tyre Nichols were memebrs of the Vice Lords gang and under their direction,” Lauren Witzke, of the Stew Peters Network, reported to Twitter.

A subsequent tweet from Witzke reported that the Vice Lords also have members working as jail officers, and are believed to have ties to a bail bonds company in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

In addition to those charged in Nichols’ death, who are facing counts of 2nd-degree murder among others, several Memphis police officers have been cited for their ties to criminal gangs and street violence in years past, seeming to point to a pattern of criminal behavior within the department.

In 2020, a former Memphis PD officer was tied to the Gangster Disciples, a gang that’s called for the murders of police officers in Memphis and nearby Mississippi in recent years. According to the results of a police investigation, the officer, who retired to skirt accountability, “got involved” with a high-ranking female member of the gang, who was a suspect in a murder he was investigating.

Among other things, Eric Kelly, the officer in question, admitted to getting the woman drugs.

In 2014, a female Memphis police officer named Paris Glass resigned from the department, after she was caught making a violent rap music video with members of the Bloods gang. In the video, a group of women describe themselves as “cut-throat bitches from North Memphis,” while they act out kidnappings and murders.

Furthermore, it was discovered that before she resigned, Glass used the Memphis Police Department’s internal computers to gather personal information on other cops and civilians, presumably in relation to her gang ties.

Two years before that, in 2012, another Memphis police officer, Candyace Davis, was put under investigation for starring in a different rap video, also associated with gang violence.

Related: Memphis Cops in Tyre Nichols Beating Hired After PD Lowered Standards in Diversity Push


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