5 police officers fired after arrest of Memphis man, death

MEMPHIS, Tenn. –

Five Memphis Police Department officers have been fired for excessive use of force, failure to intervene, and failure to provide aid stemming from the arrest of a man during a traffic stop who later died during a traffic stop. hospital, officials said Friday.

The sheriff said Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr. and Justin Smith were involved in the January 7 arrest of Tire Nichols, 29, who was black.

Authorities said the Memphis Police Department conducted an internal investigation into the arrest of Nichols, who died three days later, and disciplinary action was taken following the conclusion of the investigation.

According to the Memphis police public information officer, the five officers fired were all black.

The US Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is also looking into the force used in the arrest.

Nichols’ family, along with protesters gathered at the police station and the National Civil Rights Museum, have pushed for the release of police camera footage and called for the officers to be charged. .

Relatives have accused police of beating Nichols, causing him to have a heart attack. Authorities said Nichols was experiencing a medical emergency.

Police said Nichols was arrested after being stopped by police for reckless driving. Authorities said there was a confrontation when officers approached the driver and he fled before confronting pursuing officers who arrested him. He complained of difficulty breathing and had to be hospitalized.

Officials said the cause of death has yet to be determined.

Relatives said officers stopped Nichols in a vehicle without a license plate and that he had suffered cardiac arrest and kidney failure from being beaten by officers.

Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis and Mayor Jim Strickland said video of the arrest will be released once the police department’s investigation is complete and can be viewed by the family.

City leaders are arranging a meeting early next week with Nichols’ family, according to a joint statement from Strickland and Davis.

Attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci, who represent the Nichols family, released a statement Friday saying they support the department’s decision to fire the officers.

“This is the first step to achieving justice for Tire and his family. They too must be held accountable for taking the lives of this man and the father of his son,” the statement read.

The attorneys said they “will continue to demand transparency and accountability” and plan to review the video to seek more clarity about the circumstances that led to Nichols’ death.


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