A retired Memphis police officer and military veteran who spoke out against the police officers suspected of killing Tyre Nichols has been found dead. According to local news reports, Mark LeSure, a former sergeant with the homicide squad of the Memphis Police Department (MPD), was found unconscious outside of his Memphis home on Sunday.
“He was in the driveway when we got here lying face down,” his aunt, Rose LeSure-Jones, told WREG-TV. “Whatever it was, he didn’t deserve this; he really didn’t. He was a good guy, one of the good guys, really.”
On Tuesday, The Memphis Police Department confirmed that LeSure’s body was found in his front yard. No cause of death has not been disclosed at this time. The 24-year veteran cop was critical of the five Black police officers and their treatment of Nichols, who died after being brutally beaten following a traffic stop, according to authorities.
“Human beings, man, that’s what happened,” he told The New York Times. “They let their emotions get the best of them, and there was no veteran officer there to stop them. Usually, when vets are there, things go differently because we have that experience to say, I understand you’re mad, but you got to stop. You can’t do this; it isn’t right.”
Nichols died as a result of blunt-force trauma, according to the coroner. The department released bodycam video of Nichols being chased, kicked, and beaten as he yelled out for his mother, who lived nearby.
Following an inquiry into Nichols’ murder, the Memphis Police Department fired the five officers after the January beating.
A grand jury returned indictments against Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills Jr., Emmitt Martin III, and Justin Smith. They all entered not-guilty pleas to charges of second-degree murder, aggravated assault, and aggravated kidnapping in February. Their legal cases are ongoing.
LeSure, who spent more than 28 years working for the Memphis Police Department, recently earned a bachelor’s degree from LeMoyne-Owen College and was planning to pursue a master’s degree there before his passing, according to his friends.