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Five former Memphis Police Department officers are in custody and face several charges after their involvement in the death of a 29-year-old male, who died earlier this month in a hospital days after a confrontation with authorities.
Tyre Nichols died on January 10, three days after Memphis police pulled him over in a traffic stop, local media reported. Nichols, and the five former police officers involved, are black.
Authorities stopped Nichols on January 7 for “reckless driving” near Raines Road and Ross Road in Memphis, Fox News reported.
Police told local media that during the stop, a “confrontation occurred,” at which point Nichols ran away from police on foot as they attempted to apprehend him.
“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.”
Officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmit Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr., and Justin Smith have all been charged with two counts of official misconduct, local media reported, with one count of official oppression, second-degree murder, aggravated assault-act in concert, and two counts of aggravated kidnapping.
Local media reported authorities were charged with “official misconduct [through] unauthorized exercise of official power, official misconduct [through] failure to perform a duty imposed by law, official oppression, second-degree murder, aggravated assault – act in concert, aggravated kidnapping causing bodily injury, and aggravated kidnapping while possessing a weapon.”
Local media reported that Haley and Martin are in jail on a $350,000 bond, while Smith, Mills, and Bean were booked on a $250,000 bond.
Attorney Bill Massey, representing Martin, told local media he was indicted and turned himself in to authorities.
BREAKING: The 5 former Memphis Police Department officers have been indicted by a grand jury on charges ranging from second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression for the death of Tyre Nichols. pic.twitter.com/mkPLf4CCHU
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) January 26, 2023
Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis issued a statement Wednesday night about the investigation.
“In light of the horrific circumstances surrounding the death of Tyre Nichols, it is absolutely incumbent upon me, your chief, to address the status of what the Memphis Police Department is doing, has done, and will continue to do in furtherance of finding truth in this tragic loss, ensuring we communicate with honesty and transparency, and that there is absolute accountability for those responsible for Tyre’s death,” Davis said.
“This is not just a professional failing,” Davis said, according to Fox News. “This is a failing of basic humanity toward another individual,” adding the five officers involved in Nichols’ death, “failed our community, and they failed the Nichols family.”
Davis further noted Nichols’ death as “heinous, reckless, and inhumane,” saying the video footage of Nichols’ confrontation with authorities would be released in the coming days “in the vein of transparency.”
“I expect you to feel what the Nichols family feels,” Davis said. “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.”
Davis asked the public to refrain from violently reacting upon the release of the footage.
Family members of Nichols viewed the police body cam footage on Monday.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, representing Nichols’ family members, called the video “appalling, heinous, violent, and troublesome” in a press conference, adding that Nichols’ mother could not sit through more than a minute of the video.
Memphis residents told The Daily Wire about concerns surrounding protests and riots from groups like Black Lives Matter and antifa activists in the aftermath of the video of Nichols’ confrontation with authorities.
Since the Shelby County District Attorney confirmed its new George Soros-backed district attorney, Steven Mulory, residents have claimed crime in Memphis has increased while punishment for criminals has decreased.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation told The Daily Wire authorities have “no insight” on reports of protests or riots forming.