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Five Fired Memphis Police Officers Arrested for Murder of Tyre Nichols

HeadlineJan 27, 2023

In Tennessee, five former Memphis police officers have been indicted on murder and kidnapping charges over the killing of Tyre Nichols. The 29-year-old African American man died of kidney failure and cardiac arrest on January 10, three days after his violent arrest following a traffic stop. Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy spoke at a news conference on Thursday.

District Attorney Steve Mulroy: “Here are the charges: second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping resulting in bodily injury, aggravated kidnapping involving the possession of a weapon, official misconduct through unauthorized exercise of power, official misconduct through failure to act when there is a duty imposed by law, and official oppression. 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 five former officers were booked into the Shelby County Jail on Thursday. Their lawyers say at least three of them plan to post bail. All five are African American, as was Tyre Nichols. The ex-officers’ arrests came as Memphis city officials said they will release nearly an hour of body-camera video this evening showing how police pepper-sprayed, tased, restrained, kicked and beat Tyre Nichols for three minutes. David Rausch, the director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, said he was “sickened” by what he saw in the video.

David Rausch: “In a word, it’s absolutely appalling. … Let me be clear: What happened here does not at all reflect proper policing. This was wrong. This was criminal.”

Ahead of the video’s release today at 6 p.m. Memphis time, the Memphis Police Department has activated its entire force in anticipation of weekend protests. President Biden released a statement, reading, “I join Tyre’s family in calling for peaceful protest. Outrage is understandable, but violence is never acceptable.” After headlines, we’ll speak with Ben Crump, attorney for Tyre Nichols’ family, and with Nichols’ parents.

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