5 officers charged with murder in Memphis police killing

TEHRAN, Jan. 27 (MNA) – Five fired Memphis police officers have been charged with murder in the death of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man hospitalized after a confrontation with police during a traffic stop this month, local US media said.

The officers were fired last week and accused of using excessive force in an encounter that was captured on video, including police body cameras. The city’s police chief, Cerelyn Davis, described their actions as “a failing of basic humanity," the New York Times reported.

The officers — Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith — were arrested on charges including second-degree murder. “The actions of all of them resulted in the death of Tyre Nichols, and they are all responsible,” the Shelby County district attorney, Steven J. Mulroy, said. All five officers, who are Black, were fired last week.

Lawyers for two of the officers said they had not yet seen the video evidence but urged the public to reserve judgment. “No one out there that night intended for Tyre Nichols to die,” said William Massey, who is representing Mr. Martin, at a news conference.

A lawyer for Mr. Nichols’s family said the family was encouraged by the charges. “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,” the lawyer, Ben Crump, said in a statement. 

Mr. Nichols was stopped by officers on suspicion of reckless driving on the evening of Jan. 7. He “suffered extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating,” according to preliminary findings of an autopsy commissioned by his family. His family shared a photograph taken before he died on Jan. 10 that showed him in a hospital bed, apparently unconscious, his face bruised and swollen.

Officials including President Joe Biden and his VP have called for calm as they prepare to release body camera video on Friday showing the fatal encounter that led to the death of Tyre Nichols.


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