Five Memphis police officers who were fired after a black man named Tyre Nichols was pulled over for speeding on January 7 have been charged with murder in connection with Nichols’ death.
People looked at online Shelby County Jail records and found that all five officers have been charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, and many counts of official misconduct and official oppression.
Officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith were all involved in the arrest of Nichols. All of them have since been fired. All five of them are now in the Shelby County Jail.
Nichols was pulled over on January 7 at 8:30 p.m. because he was allegedly driving too fast. In a statement, Memphis police said that after officers approached Nichols’ car and he allegedly ran away on foot, there was more than one “confrontation.”
— Memphis Police Dept (@MEM_PoliceDept) January 8, 2023
Nichols was eventually caught by police, and he allegedly started to say that he was short of breath. He was in very bad shape, so an ambulance took him to St. Francis Hospital. Three days later, he died, and a picture of him in the hospital seems to show that his face was cut and bruised.
Multiple news sources say that Nichols’ family recently saw the body camera footage of his arrest for the first time. They say that the clip shows officers beating, restraining, and shocking him in a brutal way.
Nichols’ stepfather, Rodney Wells, said at a press conference at Mt. Olive Cathedral CME Church in Memphis, “Our son ran because he was afraid for his life.”
Ravaughn Wells, Nichols’ mother, said at the press conference, “It doesn’t matter what colour you are—black, white, pink, or purple—people should never have to go through this.” “My son didn’t do drugs, didn’t carry guns, and didn’t like confrontation.” That’s why this is so hard.
Wells called her son a “beautiful soul” at the press conference. Her name was tattooed on his arm. According to CNN, his family said he loved photography, skateboarding, and computers.
Family attorney Crump said that the video of the arrest, which has not yet been made public, “reminded us of the [1991 LAPD] Rodney King video,” calling it “deplorable” and “heinous, violent, and troublesome on every level.”
Romanucci, Crump’s co-counsel, said that the video shows “an undiluted, unapologetic, nonstop beating of this young boy for three minutes.” He called the actions of the officers “savage” and “excessive.” Crump said that during the incident, Nichols called out for his mother several times.
Part of what Memphis Police Chief Cj Davis said in a video statement was: “I am your chief of police, but I am also a mother and a caring person who wants the best for everyone.” This is not just a failure on the job.
This shows a lack of basic kindness toward another person. “This was a horrible, careless, and cruel thing to do, and you will be able to see for yourselves when the video comes out in the next few days.”
In a statement, Police Chief Cerelyn Davis said this about the decision to fire them: “After a careful look at the situation, we found that five Memphis Police Department officers broke a number of rules, including those about using too much force, their duty to step in, and their duty to help.”
Davis also said that the police department is working with the office of the district attorney and that the video of the traffic stop will be made public soon.
In a statement released on January 17, Mayor Jim Strickland and Chief Justice Davis said, “We understand and agree that transparency around the events surrounding Mr. Tyre Nichols’ death is of the utmost importance, especially the release of the video footage.” They also said that the video will be released “after the completion of the internal investigation into the actions of the officers and after the family of Mr. Nichols has had the chance to review the video privately.”
Multiple news sources say that two Memphis firefighters who helped with Tyre Nichols’ “initial patient care” on January 7 were also “relieved of duty” from their jobs. So far, no charges have been brought against the firefighters in connection with his death.
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