Five Memphis Police Officers Face Murder Charges Over Fatal Shooting, On Thursday, a grand jury in Tennessee charged five former Memphis police officers for the death of Tyre Nichols, whose beating following a traffic stop was captured on video “sickened” a top Tennessee law enforcement official.
Memphis Police Chief C.J. Davis stated early Friday morning that an inquiry and analysis of accessible camera footage had discovered “no proof” that Nichols was stopped for reckless driving.
Davis stated that the five policemen engaged in the stop that resulted in Nichols’ murder on January 7 were terminated because they broke departmental policy. These officers were Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith.
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Each of the five ex-cops faces two counts of second-degree murder, two counts of official misconduct, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, one act of official oppression, and one count of aggravated assault, according to the prosecution.
Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy told reporters, “The actions of all of them resulted in the death of Tyre Nichols, and they are all culpable.”
The most serious charge is second-degree murder, which, as Mulroy put it, “is a knowing killing.”
Mills and Smith, two of the arrested policemen, were both able to post the $250,000 bond and walk free late Thursday. Jail records showed that Haley, Martin, and Bean were still being held on Thursday night. However, as of early Friday morning, only Haley was listed as being in custody.
Coming this Friday: a video!
Officials have promised to share footage of the incident on Friday evening at 6 o’clock. The chief of police in Memphis, Carolyn “C.J.” Davis, said Thursday that she anticipated locals to be shocked by the “heinous, reckless, and callous” behavior shown in the video. There will be protests, she warned, but protesters should keep the peace.
It was unclear whether the department was preparing for any protests. Thursday afternoon, a representative waited to respond to a request for comment.
On Friday, during a separate news conference, FBI Director Christopher Wray commented on the footage of Nichols’ arrest, saying, “I’ve seen the video myself, and I will tell you I was shocked.”
Memphis-Shelby County Schools have declared they will postpone all Friday after-school events in preparation for the video’s publication. In contrast, Southwest Tennessee Community College has announced it will switch to online classes on Friday.
Other cities’ law officers reported doing the same, preparing for or at least keeping an eye on potential protests. The police department in Washington, D.C., issued a statement saying that all sworn officers had been “fully activated” and that “rapid law enforcement action” would be taken if the law were broken.
A department spokesman in Minneapolis said their community safety office would “continue its mission of protecting the safety of this community while respecting the constitutional rights of all citizens,” In San Francisco, authorities said they were getting ready to respond to developments related to Nichols’ death.
When asked if they would back “peaceful protests,” the Atlanta police force responded, “prepared to support them.” The police department issued a statement reminding officers of the importance of acting “compassionate, competent, and constitutional manner.” These police officers disgraced themselves, their departments, and the city of Tyre.
“This very well might have been me.”
RowVaughn Wells, Nichols’ mother, spoke at a candlelight vigil attended by more than 300 people in Memphis’ Tobey Park on Thursday night. She described the video as “horrific” and repeated the police chief by adding, “I want every one of you to protest in peace. It’s not what my kid would have liked for us to tear our city apart in flames.
The crowd demanded accountability and police reform, once chanting “Justice for Tyre.”
Once again, here we are, and I’m bored of repeating myself. Amber Sherman, a community activist in Memphis, stated, “I’m tired of it. People are being murdered viciously over and over again in our city. We won’t take this treatment any longer. Please provide us with some response.
Skateboarding was featured during the vigil as a tribute to the subculture Nichols had given so much of his life.
Ron Marion, 29, once observed, “Skateboarders have to support one other no matter what.” I mean, we’re practically twins. What if it had been me?
Wrapped up in his grey coat and matching skull hat, Wells crossed a skate park. There, skaters did aerial twists, leaped over concrete, and landed on the ground directly in front of her. After a short while, she grinned and then went.
The investigation, according to the police chief, found “no proof” of careless driving.
Davis said on CNN This Morning early on Friday that Nichols had been pulled over for reckless driving, but “no proof” of this was uncovered after an investigation and study of accessible camera footage.
We have no evidence to support the claim of dangerous driving. That’s why she explained he was purportedly stopped right from the start. “Just because something can’t be proven does not disprove its existence. However, evidence is lacking; The cams picked nothing up.”
Upon viewing the footage, Davis stated, “I was outraged. To me, it was inexplicable; it was despicable. I can’t recall seeing anything like that in my entire working life.
In an interview, she said that the footage would show “acts that defy humanity,” “a contempt for life,” and “a level of physical connection that is above and above what is required in law enforcement.”
I’m sure the audience will experience the same emotions as the family. Not doing so automatically disqualifies you from being considered human “Following that, Davis said further.
The mother of Nichols claims that police officers “pummelling him to a pulp.”
In an interview on Friday morning, Nichols’ mother, Wells, broke her silence on her son’s arrest and the subsequent pepper spraying and stun gun use.
The officers had a hard time putting the handcuffs on him and described him as having superhuman amounts of energy, at which point they asked whether he was on drugs. “What they were describing was not my kid,” I said, “she elaborated, “To put it simply, I didn’t know what to think.
She claimed that by the time she arrived at the hospital and met Nichols, “He was already gone.”
They had severely beaten him. My son’s nose was broken and swollen like a watermelon, he had bruises all over his body, and his head looked like a watermelon.
Lawyer Ben Crump said Nichols’ final words were three “gut-wrenching screams for his mom” in the video.
“This shouldn’t have happened,” the official says.
Director David Rausch of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which oversaw the investigation, has promised a short video.
He said, “Simply put: This shouldn’t have happened.” I’ve been a cop for over three decades. I feel wronged because I’ve spent my entire working life in this field. I can’t believe it. What I witnessed is repulsive to me.
And, as Rausch emphasized, “Let me be clear: What happened here does not in any way reflect competent policing. A mistake was made here. I mean, this is just a crime.
Mills is represented by defense attorney Blake Ballin, who commented on Rausch’s use of strong language when discussing the footage. We’re all worried, he continued, and “to say things like that when you have a tinderbox is reckless.”
Ballin and Martin’s lawyer, William Massey, stated they had not seen the police video.
Ballin warned against making hasty judgments once revealed, even though he was already prepared for what it would show.
To paraphrase what Ballin said, “I would only caution the public to reserve judgment.” Understand that “there’s always more to the tale.”
Massey told reporters, “No one out there that night wanted Tyre Nichols to die.” Ignore them; they’re not interested in talking to you. For some reason, that has the police officer completely taken aback.
The indictment was met with joy by Nichols’ loved ones.
“We continue to push for justice for Tyre,” said family attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci in a statement after the officers were charged.
“This young man lost his life in a particularly horrible manner that highlights the for change and reform to guarantee this brutality ceases occurring under low-threat procedures, like a traffic check,” they stated.
It’s safe to say that “this tragedy is the very definition of a pointless loss of life.”
The attorneys for Nichols’ family said last week that preliminary results from an autopsy conducted by a forensic pathologist show he was severely assaulted before his death. As of this writing, the medical examiner’s office in Shelby County has not announced a cause of death.
Only a few details have been made public.
The 29-year-old Nichols passed away on January 10th, just a few days after the altercation that left him in the hospital.
Nichols was stopped in the Hickory Hill area of Memphis, where he was reportedly investigated for reckless driving.
Nichols fled after an “initial skirmish” in which pepper spray was used, District Attorney Mulroy told reporters on Thursday.
Mr. Nichols suffered severe injuries in a separate fight that took place nearby. “In continuation, Mulroy said. “Later, after waiting, an ambulance arrived and took him away.
When pressed for more information regarding the deadly confrontation, Mulroy declined to provide any.
Nichols’s stepfather sent a photo of him in the hospital, where he could be seen with blood on his face and a swollen eye.
Nichols’s loved ones and their lawyers, Crump and Romanucci, have seen the footage from the officer’s body camera.
Romanucci said the officers hit Nichols for three minutes straight, calling it an “unadulterated, shameless, relentless pounding.” “Plucking a human being like a piata.
Crump likened it to “the Rodney King video” from 1991, which showed police officers assaulting an unarmed Black man in Los Angeles and was filmed by bystanders.
On Thursday, attempts to reach a spokesperson for the Memphis Police Association, which speaks for patrol officers, were unsuccessful.
When the video is released, NAACP President Derrick Johnson hopes it will spur lawmakers to take swift action to reform the police.
In a statement released on Thursday, Johnson urged people to share their plans for paying tribute to Tyre Nichols. “Tell us what you plan to do to ensure his death was not in vain, both for his loved ones and the country. For every person killed by police, we may list the laws passed in response.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, presenter of MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation,” released a statement in which he defended the use of body cameras, saying that it was intended to ensure that police complied with the law.
For Sharpton, “placing a body camera on a cop is pointless” if the officer is not punished for the brutal beating that resulted in the man’s death that was captured on camera.
“Dismissals are insufficient. Arrests and charges do not constitute convictions. As we did for the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and others, we will continue to support this one until justice is served. A conviction would show the country that police officers cannot use their badges to cover up a crime of this magnitude.
Authors Deon J. Hampton and David K. Li from Memphis, New York’s Juliette Arcodia, and Tim Stelloh from California contributed to this story.