Five Memphis Police Department officers who were fired following the arrest of Tyre Nichols have been charged with second-degree murder.
Nichols’ died three days after a traffic stop that has drawn intense scrutiny. Police say the five officers pulled Nichols over Jan. 7 for “reckless driving” during which a “confrontation occurred” and Nichols fled police on foot. Officers pursued Nichols, according to police.
“Officers pursued the suspect and again attempted to take the suspect into custody. While attempting to take the suspect into custody, another confrontation occurred; however, the suspect was ultimately apprehended. Afterward, the suspect complained of having a shortness of breath, at which time an ambulance was called to the scene. The suspect was transported to St. Francis Hospital in critical condition.”
— Memphis Police Dept (@MEM_PoliceDept) January 8, 2023
Nichols died three days later on Jan. 10. (RELATED: Hundreds Protest After Police Shoot College Student Who Allegedly Advanced On Them With Kukri Knife)
Former officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr and Justin Smith were all charged and booked into the Shelby County jail, District Attorney Steve Mulroy said, according to Axios. The former officers were also all charged with aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression.
“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 for Nichols’ family, Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci, said in a statement, according to Fox News.
“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 reportedly continues. “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.”