5 Officers Charged With Tyre Nichols Murder in Memphis Police Killing

From the New York Times

Five fired Memphis police officers have been charged with murder in the death of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man hospitalized after a confrontation with police during a traffic stop this month. The officers were fired last week and accused of using excessive force in an encounter that was captured on video, including police body cameras. The city’s police chief, Cerelyn Davis, described their actions as “a failing of basic humanity.”

Video of the traffic stop will be released late Friday, Mr. Mulroy said, as cities across the nation braced for an angry response to the footage and officials from President Biden on down called for peaceful protest. David Rausch, director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, said he had watched the recordings. “In a word, it’s absolutely appalling,” he said. He added, “This was wrong, this was criminal.”

Mr. Nichols was stopped by officers on suspicion of reckless driving on the evening of Jan. 7. He “suffered extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating,” according to preliminary findings of an autopsy commissioned by his family. His family shared a photograph taken before he died on Jan. 10 that showed him in a hospital bed, apparently unconscious, his face bruised and swollen.

Nichols died three days after the beating.

Note: News Views will post the video in a separate thread when it is released. Link TBA when available.

RowVaughn Wells, second from right, Tyre Nichols’s mother, and his stepfather, Rodney Wells, right, at a candlelight vigil held at Tobey skatepark in Memphis.Credit…Brad J. Vest for The New York Times

From NBC:

In addition to charges to law enforcement, two Memphis Fire Department personnel were “relieved of duty” while an internal investigation was conducted into the death of Nichol’s death.

Fire spokesperson Qwanesha Ward said the employees were “involved in the initial patient care” of Nichols; she did not provide further details.

“This is an ongoing investigation, and we cannot comment further at this time,” Ward said in a statement Monday. The department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This story is being continually updated.

From CNN:

Video footage of Tyre Nichols’ violent arrest on Jan. 7 will be released on YouTube in four parts — showing the initial stop, the stop near Nichols’ home and body-worn camera footage of the individuals at the scene — sometime after 7 p.m. ET on Friday, Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis said.  CNN has obtained portions of the police scanner audio leading up to the 29-year-old Black driver’s arrest. Portions of the audio are inaudible, but a brief part of the conversation between an officer and the dispatcher can be heard.

An officer is heard saying, “We got one Black male running,” and giving instructions to “run that car registration tag and see what’s the address,” followed by what sounds like Nichols in distress. It’s not clear where this audio fits in the sequence of the incident or which officer is speaking.

Family attorneys watched the video on Monday and described it as “heinous.” Nichols was tased, pepper-sprayed and restrained, family attorney Ben Crump said, and compared it to the LAPD beating of Rodney King. Crump described the video as “appalling,” “deplorable” and “heinous.” He said Wells, Nichols’ mother, was unable to get through viewing the first minute of the footage after hearing Nichols ask, “What did I do?” At the end of the footage, Nichols can be heard calling for his mother three times, the attorney said.

Nichols fled from the police, according to Rodney Wells, his stepfather, because he was afraid. “Our son ran because he was scared for his life,” Wells said Monday. “He did not run because he was trying to get rid of no drugs, no guns, no any of that. He ran because he was scared for his life. And when you see the video, you will see why he was scared for his life.”

The officers are now all presently out on bond. The video is being held until this evening for release so that children and others can be off the streets and home in case violence breaks out in Memphis.

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