Officials announced on Friday that five Memphis Police Department officers had been fired for excessive use of force, failing to step in, and failing to assist following the arrest of a man during a traffic check who later passed away in the hospital.
Tyre Nichols, 29, a Black man, was arrested on January 7 and the police chief claimed that Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr., and Justin Smith were all implicated.
The discipline was implemented following the end of an internal inquiry by the Memphis Police Department regarding the apprehension of Nichols, who passed away three days later, according to the officials.
According to the public relations officer for the Memphis police department, all five of the fired officers are Black.
A civil rights investigation has been launched by the US Justice Department. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is also investigating how harshly the arrest was made.
The family of Nichols has campaigned for the release of police body camera footage and urged for officers to face charges, along with demonstrators who gathered at a police station and the National Civil Rights Museum.
Family members claim that officers assaulted Nichols and gave him a heart attack as a result. According to the authorities, Nichols had a medical emergency.
Nichols was stopped by police for driving recklessly, according to the police. The motorist reacted aggressively when the officers arrived and fled before being confronted by the chasing officers, who then apprehended him, according to the authorities. He was admitted to the hospital after complaining of breathing problems.
Authorities stated that the reason for the death has not yet been established.
According to family members, Nichols was stopped by police in an unmarked car, and the policemen pummelling him until he had a heart collapse and kidney failure.
The clip of the arrest will be made public after the family has had a chance to see it and the police department’s investigation is complete, according to Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and Chief of Police Cerelyn “CJ” Davis.
In accordance with a joint statement from Strickland and Davis, the city council is planning a visit with the Nichols family early next week.
The family of Nichols is represented by attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci, who released a statement on Friday expressing their support for the department’s decision to terminate the officers.
This is the first step toward Tyre and his family receiving justice. For depriving this man of his life and depriving his children of a father, they must also be held accountable, the statement stated.
In order to gain further insight into the circumstances leading up to Nichols’ murder, the attorneys stated that they will continue to demand transparency and responsibility and that they intend to watch video recordings.
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