Video of Savage Arrest to be Released as Officers Plead Not Guilty, Family Demands Justice.
January 26, 2023 – Five Memphis police officers have been charged with second-degree murder and other crimes in connection to the arrest and death of Tyre Nichols, a Black motorist who died three days after a confrontation with the officers during a traffic stop. The officers, Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills Jr., Emmitt Martin III and Justin Smith, are all in custody and have been charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression. The incident was captured on police video, which will be released to the public on Friday.
Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy stated that “while each of the five individuals played a different role in the incident in question, the actions of all of them resulted in the death of Tyre Nichols, and they are all responsible.”
The attorneys for Martin and Mills, William Massey and Blake Ballin, respectively, have stated that their clients will plead not guilty.
The incident has garnered national attention, with President Joe Biden releasing a statement saying that Nichols’ family and the city of Memphis deserve “a swift, full and transparent investigation.”
Memphis Police Director Cerelyn “CJ” Davis has also called the actions of the officers involved “heinous, reckless and inhumane” and has urged residents to protest peacefully when the video is released.
As the investigation continues, Davis has pledged “full and complete co-operation” from the Memphis Police Department to determine what led to Nichols’ death. The family’s attorney, Benjamin Crump, has stated that the police video the family viewed shows Nichols being shocked, pepper-sprayed and restrained during the traffic stop near his home.
Relatives have accused the police of causing Nichols to have a heart attack and kidney failure, however authorities have only said that he experienced a medical emergency.
As the community awaits the release of the video, Davis has emphasized that the actions of the fired officers do not reflect the good work that many Memphis police officers do every day, and that steps are being taken to improve the department.
Two fire department workers have also been removed from duty over the Nichols’ arrest.