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5 Memphis Police Officers Charged with Second-Degree Murder in Death of Tyre Nichols

The five former Memphis Police Department officers fired following the death of Tyre Nichols have been charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault and other charges.

Jail records show Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith turned themselves in and are now in custody at the Shelby County Jail in Tennessee.

The former officers are each facing seven felony charges, including one count of second-degree murder, one count of aggravated assault, one count of official oppression and two counts each of aggravated kidnapping and official misconduct.

In Tennessee, second-degree murder is punishable by 15 to 60 years in prison, according to The Associated Press.

“The news today from Memphis officials that these five officers are being held criminally accountable for their deadly and brutal actions gives us hope as we continue to push for justice for Tyre,” lawyers Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci, who are representing Nichols’ family, said in a statement obtained by Fox News Digital.

“This young man lost his life in a particularly disgusting manner that points to the desperate need for change and reform to ensure this violence stops occurring during low-threat procedures, like in this case, a traffic stop,” the statement continued. “This tragedy meets the absolute definition of a needless and unnecessary death. Tyre’s loved ones’ lives were forever changed when he was beaten to death, and we will keep saying his name until justice is served.”

Memphis police say they pulled over Nichols on Jan. 7 around 8:30 p.m. for “reckless driving” near Raines Road and Ross Road in Memphis.

A “confrontation occurred” during the stop, at which point Nichols ran away from police on foot. Officers pursued the 29-year-old and attempted to apprehend him, police said.

“While attempting to take the suspect into custody, another confrontation occurred; however, the suspect was ultimately apprehended,” MPD said. “Afterward the suspect complained of having shortness of breath, at which point an ambulance was called to the scene.”

Authorities transported Nichols to St. Francis Hospital in critical condition, and he died three days later on Jan. 10, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Crump and Romanucci said Tuesday that following an independent autopsy on Nichols’ body carried out by a “highly regarded, nationally renowned forensic pathologist,” preliminary findings indicated that “Tyre suffered extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating.”

They also said Nichols’ “observed injuries are consistent with what the family and attorneys witnessed on the video of his fatal encounter with police on Jan. 7, 2023.”

Authorities have not yet released the video of the traffic stop involving Nichols, or the autopsy.

Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis gave an address Wednesday evening and called Nichols’ death “heinous, reckless and inhumane,” cautioning people not to react violently after seeing the footage.

“This is not just a professional failing. This is a failing of basic humanity toward another individual,” Davis said, saying the five officers and others who were involved in his death “failed our community, and they failed the Nichols family. That is beyond regrettable.”

“In the vein of transparency, when the video is released in the coming days, you will see this for yourselves,” she added. “I expect you to feel what the Nichols family feels. I expect you to feel outraged by the disregard for basic human rights as our police officers have taken an oath to do the opposite of what transpired on the video.”

The officers were fired for using excessive force and violating other policies. Two Memphis Fire Department personnel also have been fired following Nichols’ death.

READ 23 COMMENTS
  • george eady says:

    YES NO RACE THING HERE / ALL ARE BLACKS / THAT MEANS SO MANY WONT BE GETTING NEW TV=SOUND SYSTEM S AND SO ON

  • MBeached says:

    My sympathy goes out to the Nichols Family. The death of any person in the case of a simple traffic crimes is never good and unacceptable. Death by Police is unacceptable, unless deadly response is necessary.

    What we are hearing here is a one-sided story, sensationalized by a “national hot shot” medical examiner and historical events in recent years with police violence. But there are basic questions that I cannot resolve on my own.

    January 7th; 8:30PM; Tyre Nichols is pulled over for a reckless driving violation. There was an “encounter” with police. My questions: Why was there an “encounter”. for a simple traffic stop? Why didn’t Mr. Nichols simply surrender to the police? What, if anything, did Mr. Nichols do to incite the officers? What, if anything was Mr. Nichols trying to hide? Why did he run?

    During pursuit there was “another encounter” My question: Why was he running from police? Was a weapon involved? Why did it take a second “encounter” with a single person by 5 POLICE OFFICERS to perform a SIMPLE APPREHENSION?

    Not surrendering to an officer of the law is, in itself, a misdemeanor. When Mr. Nichols ran, the crimes advanced to multiple misdemeanors and possible felony if the perpetrator engaged in evading and fighting with police officers. YOU SEE WHERE THIS IS GOING.

    I will repeat: What we are hearing here is a one-sided story, sensationalized by a “national hot shot” medical examiner and historical events in recent years with police violence THAT MAY OR MAY NOT BE CONTRIBUTORY TO THIS INCIDENT.

    I am not siding with police or blaming Mr. Nichols. I read this article and raised my questions. I will follow up but the fact remains obvious that if one thing, one simple thing changed for Mr. Nichols I would not be writing this stupid comment. OR, if the police officers would have simply done there job, I would not be writing this stupid comment.

    Consider these two scenarios:

    1. What if Mr, Nichols had not driven recklessly (broken the law) in the first place?
    2. What if Mr. Nichols had surrendered to police in the beginning of the traffic stop, before the first “encounter”?

    I watched all the videos. My questions are still valid as well as my considerations and outcomes. If Mr. Nichols would have followed the officers orders initially, there would have been no incident nor the initial encounter. Police force used in encounters were in response to Mr. Nichols resistance. However, the police officers could have restrained Mr. Nichols more effectively and efficiently.

    How would the outcomes have changed if there was no “national hot shot” medical examiner involved and historical events in recent years with police violence, AND THIS TRAFFIC INCIDENT WERE TO REPEAT.

    Answer: Internal Affairs would have investigated, invoked punishment or referred the case to the courts, and recommended training and physical development where required in the police officers, AND I would not have written this stupid comment.

    Should the officers be held accountable? YES, but probably NOT to the extent that you think.

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