Five former Memphis police officers have been indicted and jailed in the beating death of Tyre Nichols, who died days after a traffic stop on Jan. 7. Like Nichols, all of the fired officers are Black.
Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith each face several charges, including second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression.
On Wednesday, Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis released a video statement discussing “the horrific circumstances” of Nichols’ death. She called it a professional failing and said “the incident was heinous, reckless and inhumane.”
The criminal charges come about three weeks after Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man, was hospitalized after a traffic stop and “confrontation” with Memphis police that family attorneys have called a savage beating. Nichols died from his injuries on January 10, three days after the arrest, authorities said.
The five Memphis police officers were fired last week for violating policies on excessive use of force, duty to intervene and duty to render aid, the department said.
Authorities have not publicly released video of the arrest, but Nichols’ family and attorneys were shown the video on Monday. They said the footage shows officers severely beating Nichols and compared it to the Los Angeles police beating of Rodney King in 1991.
Tyre Nichols died after allegedly being beaten by cops during a traffic stop earlier this month. https://t.co/SnJ0LDhjBO
— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) January 26, 2023
BREAKING: All five Memphis police officers who were fired following the death of Tyre Nichols have been charged with murder. https://t.co/jLwBLGkVyJ pic.twitter.com/r8pMUBWDbm
— CNN (@CNN) January 26, 2023