The five Memphis police officers responsible for the beating death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols have been charged with second-degree murder.
It’s been reported that video of the fatal attack could be made public by the end of the week.
On Jan. 7th in Memphis, Tennessee, a routine traffic stop turned deadly after Nichols was pulled over for reckless driving. After things took a turn for the worse, Nichols was beaten to the point of hospitalization. He died three days later.
The officers officially reported “two confrontations” in the attempted apprehension. They were fired last week.
All five officers involved; Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, and Justin Smith, have been charged with second-degree murder, official misconduct, official oppression and aggravated kidnapping.
Civil rights leaders welcomed the criminal charges as an essential first step to full accountability, including convictions.
“The news today from Memphis officials that these five officers are being held criminally accountable for their deadly and brutal actions gives us hope as we continue to push for justice for Tyre,” civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represents Nichols’s family, said in ane email sent to NewsOne following the arrests. “This young man lost his life in a particularly disgusting manner that points to the desperate need for change and reform to ensure this violence stops occurring during low-threat procedures, like in this case, a traffic stop. This tragedy meets the absolute definition of a needless and unnecessary death. Tyre’s loved ones’ lives were forever changed when he was beaten to death, and we will keep saying his name until justice is served.”
Rev. Al Sharpton, who is slated to deliver the eulogy at Nichols’ funeral next week, emphasized how he and others would be steadfast in their support of the young man’s family through this painful process.
“The charges against the police officers who brutally killed Tyre Nichols in Memphis are a necessary first step in delivering justice for Tyre and his family, although nothing will ever be enough to fill the void that his loss has left,” Sharpton said in a statement Thursday. “There is no point to putting a body camera on a cop if you aren’t going to hold them accountable when the footage shows them relentlessly beating a man to death. Firings are not enough. Indictments and arrests are not convictions. As we’ve done in the past — with George Floyd, Ahmed Arbery, and others — we will stand by this family until justice is done. A conviction sends a message to the nation that cops cannot hide behind their badge after committing a heinous action like this.”
NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson challenged Congress to act legislatively.
“It is only right that the Memphis Police Department takes the necessary additional steps to hold these officers accountable for their role in ripping apart a family and traumatizing a community. However, this is far from what justice looks like. Justice looks like the 535 members of Congress taking the time to turn their ‘thoughts and prayers’ into action and change,” Johnson said in a statement. “Congress: do something. By failing to write a piece of legislation, you’re writing another obituary. By failing to pass the legislation, you’re passing on your sworn duty to protect the people. We know just how much all of you will be thinking and praying upon the release of the video, you don’t need to mention it. Instead, tell us what you’re going to do about it. Tell us what you’re going to do to honor Tyre Nichols. Tell us what you’re going to do to show his family, his loving son, and this entire nation, that his life was not lost in vain. We can name all the victims of police violence, but we can’t name a single law you have passed to address it.”
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Justice For Tyre Nichols: 5 Memphis Cops Charged With Murder In Black Man’s Beating Death was originally published on wzakcleveland.com
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