A state agency is also reviewing a request that all five men be permanently prevented from working as police officers elsewhere in the state, after the Memphis Police Department fired them shortly after Mr. Nichols’s death.
A sixth officer, Preston Hemphill, was fired in late January, after he was found to have fired a Taser at Mr. Nichols as he fled from the initial encounter with the officers. Mr. Hemphill, who is white, has not been charged with a crime, but the police department has asked that he, like the others, be banned from working for any Tennessee police force.
The other seven officers and four Fire Department employees have also not been charged with a crime, though they faced internal investigations. Two E.M.T.s, Robert Long and JaMichael Sandridge, as well as a lieutenant, Michelle Whitaker, all of whom responded to the scene of the beating, were fired on Jan. 30. Officials said Ms. Whitaker did not get out of the fire truck, while Mr. Long and Mr. Sandridge waited 19 minutes to give care to Mr. Nichols.
City, police and fire department officials have pledged to take additional steps, including toughening city ordinances that help govern the police department. The Scorpion unit — the high-profile specialized unit the five officers belonged to — has been disbanded, and the leaders of both the police and fire department have said they will work to overhaul the culture of their respective agencies.
The Justice Department on Wednesday morning confirmed that it would examine the Memphis Police Department’s practices and its use of force, specialized unit and de-escalation tactics, reviewing policies, training and data. Separately, the agency also plans to create a guide for mayors and police chiefs “to help them assess the appropriateness of the use of specialized units.”
Both Mayor Jim Strickland and Cerelyn Davis, the police chief, had requested the investigation into the Police Department.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Ms. Sink did not explain what led to the charges against the remaining group of police and fire department employees, who have not yet been publicly identified, or why their punishments varied. But she previously told the City Council that the investigation had extended beyond officers who were physically present at the scene.