Memphis Police Officers Charged with Second Degree Murder in Death of Tyre Nichols; Video of Incident to be Released Friday
On Thursday, five former Memphis Police officers were charged with second-degree murder and other offenses related to the death of Tyre Nichols. The officers, all Black, were fired from the department last week. Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy also announced that video of the confrontation between Tyre Nichols and Memphis Police will be released by the city after 6 p.m. Friday, January 27.
Nichols passed away on January 10, after a confrontation with the Memphis Police on the 7th of January. An independent autopsy commissioned by attorneys representing the Nichols family showed that he suffered “extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating.” Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing the family of Nichols, said preliminary findings of their independent autopsy indicate that Nichols “suffered extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating.”
In addition, two Memphis firefighters involved in the initial care of Nichols after the traffic stop were “relieved of duty” pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
The officers charged are Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith. All five have been indicted on charges including second-degree murder, aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of official misconduct and one count of official oppression.
Cerelyn “C.J.” is the Chief Davis stated that there are a number of officers being investigated for breaching departmental regulations. She also said that an independent investigation will take place to look into MPD's specialized units. At a news conference on Monday, Civil Rights Lawyer Antonio Romanucci said video of the traffic stop on Jan. 7 showed that Nichols was subjected to “unadulterated, unabashed, nonstop beating” for three minutes by police officers.
The video of the incident will be released after 6 p.m. The City of Memphis held Friday. According to attorneys for the Nichols family, it will show that the incident “was heinous, reckless and inhumane.” The video has already been viewed by family members. Rodney Wells, Nichols' stepfather, described the footage as “horrific,”, while RowVaughn Wells, his mother, was unable to view the whole video. Crump compared the footage to that of Rodney King, a Black man who was savagely beaten by Los Angeles police officers during a traffic stop in 1991 video.
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