Five former Memphis police officers fired charged with murder to the death of tire nichols, a black man who died three days after a violent traffic stop. Video footage of Nichols’ arrest is expected to be released after 7 p.m. Friday as Memphis and other cities prepare for protests.
Authorities have released few details about what led to Nichols’ arrest and what exactly happened after the stop. Here’s what we know so far about his death and its aftermath.
What we know about arrests
On the night of January 7th, Nicholls, a FedEx employee and father of 29, who his family says is an avid skateboarder, was returning home from a suburban park where he took a sunset photo. his family’s lawyer. On his way home, he was stopped for reckless driving, according to the Memphis Police Department. When officers approached to arrest Nichols, a “fight” ensued and Nichols fled, police said. A second “fight” also occurred at some point before Nichols was finally arrested, police said.
After the arrest, Nichols “complainted shortness of breath and an ambulance was called,” police said. Police said Nichols was taken to hospital in critical condition.
Three days later, on January 10, Nichols “died of his injuries,” the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said, but did not provide details of the injuries. No official cause of death has been announced.
Rodney Wells, Nichols’ stepfather, said. CBS Affiliate WREG-TV His son-in-law had cardiac arrest and kidney failure due to a beating by a police officer.
“When we got to the hospital it was devastating,” Wells said. You shouldn’t be on the device, it’s inhumane.”
Five Memphis police officers have been found “directly responsible for Mr. Nichols’ physical abuse,” according to Memphis Police Chief Serrelyn “CJ” Davis: Tadarius Bean, Demetrius Haley, and Desmond Mills. Jr., Emmitt Martin III and Justin Smith. They were fired on January 20th. all are black.
On January 26, Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy said a grand jury indicted him with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct, and official coercion of all five former officers. announced.
Second-degree murder is a Class A felony under Tennessee law that carries a penalty of 15 to 60 years in prison.
Martin’s attorney, William Massey, confirmed on Thursday that his client had turned himself in. Martin was out in court on $350,000 bail as of early Friday morning, prison records show.
Hailey was still being held on $250,000 bail early Friday morning. Bean, Smith, and Mills all posted $250,000 bail and were released.
Massey said no cop intended to kill Nichols.
“No one intended Tyre Nichols to die that night,” Massey told reporters. “No one. No one. Police officers have a difficult and dangerous job.” Perhaps one of their worst fears is that something like this could happen under their watch.”
He stressed Thursday that his clients are entitled to due process.
“Justice means following the law,” Massey said. “And the law says no one is guilty until a jury says guilty.”
Mills’ attorney, Blake Balin, said at the same press conference that the former officer was “devastated” by the charges.
One of the officers, Haley, was previously accused of using excessive force. He was named a defendant in a 2016 federal civil rights lawsuit while working for the Shelby County Department of Corrections.
Plaintiff Cordelias Sledge said he was an inmate in 2015 when Haley and another prison officer accused him of throwing contraband. The two officers “punched him in the face,” according to the complaint.
Then the third officer slammed his head into the ground, said Sledge. He lost consciousness and woke up in the facility’s medical center.
The claim was ultimately dismissed after a judge ruled that Sledge had not filed a complaint with the police within 30 days of the incident.
What does the body camera footage show?
Police body camera video has not yet been released, but Nichols’ family and their attorneys have seen it, along with several Memphis officials.
Family attorney Ben Crump at a press conference on Jan. 23. called the video ‘evil’ He likened the police action to the infamous 1991 Los Angeles police beating of Rodney King.
Crump said Nichols was tasted, sprayed with pepper and restrained during the encounter. Another attorney for the family, Antonio Romanucci, said police beat Nichols for three minutes.
“He was a human piñata to police officers,” said Romanucci, adding that at one point the video showed “pure, unabashed, non-stop beating.”
In a video statement, Memphis Police Chief Davis called the officers’ actions “vicious, reckless and inhumane.”
“This is not just a professional failure. This is a failure of basic humanity to other individuals,” she said.
Cities prepare for possible protests
Several major law enforcement agencies have reported being on high alert in anticipation of the video’s release.
Among other things, the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement Thursday that it “will not tolerate any illegal activity during First Amendment demonstrations and will take swift law enforcement action if anyone breaks the law.” rice field.
The New York Police Department said plans include “increasing security at police stations” and adding more officers to “hotspots” such as Times Square.
Protests were already scheduled in front of Dallas Police Headquarters on Friday night. In a statement, the Dallas Police Department said, “We respect the right of everyone, regardless of their position, to protest, but we will not tolerate lawlessness in our streets. If they threaten or cause harm to people or property, we will take appropriate action.”