After the traffic stop on January 7, Nichols died on January 10, 2023. Family members and activists in the neighborhood want the video of the fight to be made public.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Police announced Friday they have fired five police officers involved in the traffic stop that led to the death of Tyre Nichols
MPD released the names of the five officers:
- Officer Tadarrius Bean, with MPD since 2020.
- Officer Demetrius Haley, with MPD since 2020.
- Officer Emmitt Martin III, with MPD since 2018.
- Officer Desmond Mills Jr., with MPD since 2017.
- Officer Justin Smith, with MPD since 2018.
The Memphis Police Department has concluded its administrative investigation into the tragic death of Mr. Tyre Nichols. After a thorough review of the circumstances surrounding this incident, we have determined that five (5) MPD officers violated multiple department policies, including excessive use of force, duty to intervene, and duty to render aid.
Earlier today, each officer charged was terminated from the Memphis Police Department. The Memphis Police Department is committed to protecting and defending the rights of every citizen in our city. The egregious nature of this incident is not a reflection of the good work that our officers perform, with integrity, ever day.
On Friday, an administrative hearing was held as part of the disciplinary process for the involved officers. We are making an effort to gather more about any prior infractions, if any, that these five officers may have had while working for the MPD. This comes in the midst of growing calls for video of the altercation to be made public.
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Why Did They Get Fired?
Late Friday afternoon, the City of Memphis tweeted out a statement from Shelby County District Attorney’s Office, which was originally issued Jan. 17, saying,
“Our office is committed to transparency and understands the reasonable request from the public to view the video footage. However, we must ensure we abide by applicable laws and ethical rules so that we do not jeopardize an ongoing investigation or prosecution. We’re working with the appropriate agencies to determine how quickly we can release the video, and will do so as soon as we can. We’ll be sure to update the public throughout this process.”
Nichols passed away on January 10, 2023, after being pulled over for a traffic violation on January 7. In the vicinity of Raines Rd. and Ross Rd., according to the Memphis Police Department, an attempt was made to pull Nichols over for driving recklessly.
They claimed that an altercation took place when authorities approached Nichols, after which he fled the scene. Nichols reportedly told officers that he was out of breath before being transported to St. Francis hospital in critical condition after what the MPD says was a second encounter that took place.
The family of Nichols claims that police officers severely beaten him to the point where he is unrecognizable. Ben Crump, a civil rights attorney who is representing the family, made the announcement on Monday, January 23, about a news conference that will take place after the family watches the footage of the confrontation. Crump said that the news conference will take place after the family watches the footage.
As part of the mayor’s weekly briefing to the public on Friday, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland stated that the City of Memphis had spoken with Crump, and that the meeting was being organized for “early next week.”
The United States Department of Justice made the announcement on Wednesday that it has initiated a civil rights investigation into Nichols’ death. The department described Nichols’ encounter with Memphis police as an incident in which officers “used force during his detention.”
This case has attracted the attention of the NAACP, who issued a statement on January 11 stating that they “will keep careful watch of this subject” together with Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy. The case has gained the interest of the international community as well.
The Tennessee Bureau of Inquiry is in charge of the criminal investigation, and they have stated that they began looking into the matter at the request of Mulroy following the initial encounter that took place on January 7.
“According to what D.A. Mulroy has said, “I want to make sure that we do not [release information] prematurely in a way that would damage the ongoing investigation.” “I am pleading with the general population for their patience. I am dedicated to maintaining open communication, and we are going to make every effort to make available as much information as we can, as quickly as we can.”
The investigation into civil rights will be a coordinated effort combining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI, and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, according to Mayor Strickland, who stated that the city will be working fully with the probe.
ABC24 made contact with the TBI in order to inquire about the current status of its investigation. According to a public information officer, there is no schedule in place to predict how long the investigation might take at this point.
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