Five Memphis Police officers who were involved in the arrest of a 29-year-old suspect who died, have been fired amid growing unrest in the city, radio station KWAM NewsTalk Memphis reports.
Tyre Nichols had been pulled over by officers on Jan.7 and the police department said there had been some sort of confrontation. Nichols ran away, but was later arrested and another confrontation occurred.
The 29-year-old then complained of shortness of breath and was taken to the hospital. He died three days later.
Investigators have yet to reveal any details of the traffic stop – including why Nichols ran away from police.
His family posted a photograph showing Nichols with a badly beaten and disfigured face. He had also been intubated. Many citizens were horrified by the extent of injuries the young man had sustained.
Police Chief C.J. Davis announced Friday night that the five officers involved in the arrest of Nichols had 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 police chief said.
The following officers were terminated from the Memphis Police Department:
*Officer Tadarrius Bean Hire date: August 2020
*Officer Demetrius Haley Hire date: August 2020
*Officer Emmitt Martin III Hire date: March 2018
*Officer Desmond Mills, Jr. Hire date: March 2017
*Officer Justin Smith Hire date: March 2018
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Dept.’s Civil Rights Division are investigating the case.
The family and local residents have demanded to see the body cam footage from the incident. City leaders say that may happen next week.
Sources tell KWAM NewsRadio Memphis that the video his graphic and horrifying. And many fear how local residents will react to the video.
It should be noted that the charges facing officers are only departmental, not criminal.
The Memphis Police Association, an organization that represents more than 2,000 local officers, declined to comment on the arrests.
Due to the ongoing criminal investigation, the Memphis Police Association will not comment on the termination of officers in the Tyre Nichols case. The citizens of Memphis, and more importantly, the family of Mr. Nichols deserve to know the complete account of the events leading up to his death and what may have contributed to it.Memphis Police Association
“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, every day,” the police chief said.