A retired Memphis police officer who spoke out against the department for the killing of Tyre Nichols was found dead in the driveway of his Southwest Memphis home.
According to WREG, officers responded to a ‘man-down’ call in the 4200 block of Falcon Drive at 8 a.m. on Sunday, July 9. He was reportedly pronounced dead at the scene and officers still haven’t positively identified the man, but family members say it was retired Memphis Police homicide detective Mark LeSure.
“He was in the driveway when we got here lying face down,” said Rose LeSure-Jones, Mark’s aunt to 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.”
LeSure has raised questions, and some suspect foul play.
LeSure joined the Memphis Police Department in 1992 after he spent 10 years as a military police officer in the U.S. Army. He retired from the department in 2021 and went back to school to get his bachelor of arts degree in criminal justice policy in Spring 2023 from LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, according to the school’s commencement program.
While in school, he pledged to Omega Psi Phi Fraternity in the fall of 2022, as shown on his graduation stole in an image on his Facebook page.
In January 2023, he spoke out against the Memphis police officers who were a part of the ‘Scorpion Unit’ that killed Tyre Nichols in a brutal police beating during a traffic stop.
“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.’ ”
He’d also said something similar, as reported by NBC News when speaking on how a large number of relatively inexperienced officers were being placed within specialized units because several officers had begun to leave the police force in recent years.
“Rookies were getting put on specialized units where they had no business being,” he said.
LeSure also shared that he’d still had communication with officers within the force after he retired and they expressed to him that the Scorpion Unit officers “do what they can to arrest people.”
The 57-year-old was remembered by his fraternity brothers.
“He will be missed, a lot of brothers loved him as soon as he walked in,” said Omega Psi Phi Fraternity brother Antonio Avant Sr. to Action News 5.
LeSure also mentored children and was a golf coach and father. In addition, he worked in the Memphis Public Schools as a resource officer.
“We lost a great brother, even though he wasn’t with the fraternity that long, he actually as soon as he came in, started working, and doing what he was supposed to do,” said Avant to Action News 5.
His body was discovered days after the city filed a motion to dismiss the $550 million civil lawsuit in Nichols’ death, which was filed in April by his family and civil rights attorney Ben Crump. The Memphis Police Department said that LeSure’s death is still under investigation.