Five Memphis police officers who were fired in connection to the death of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man who died days after a traffic stop, have been charged and booked in jail.
According to WREG News, former officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith were indicted by a grand jury on Thursday (January 26) and booked into the Shelby County Jail following the January 7 traffic that led to Nichols death.
The five officers, who were terminated last week, face various charges including second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct, and official oppression.
Police have released minimal details about the events leading to Nichols’ death. The department said in its initial statement he was pulled over for reckless driving, and a "confrontation" followed after he "fled the scene on foot."
Nichols complained of having shortness of breath and was transported to St. Francis Hospital where he died three days after the traffic stop.
The Shelby County medical examiner’s office hasn't released Nichols' official cause of death. However, preliminary results of an autopsy report sought out by the family's attorneys suggested he “suffered extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating."
After viewing body-camera footage of the stop, attorneys said the video reminded them of Rodney King, noting that Nichols was treated like a "human piñata.
Prior to their arrests, Memphis Police Chief C.J. Davis said Wednesday (January 25) that the officers terminated from the department last week "were found to be directly responsible for the physical abuse of Mr. Nichols."
Body camera footage of the "heinous, reckless, and inhumane" incident will be released to the public in the coming days, she said.
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The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
The National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264
The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001
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