by Kevin W. Bliss
Five Memphis police officers have been charged with second degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct, and official oppression in the death of the 29-year-old Black motorist Tyre Nichols.
Ex-Memphis police Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills, Jr., Emmitt Martin III, and Justin Smith pulled Nichols over in a routine traffic stop January 7, 2023. The stop quickly escalated into an incident of extreme violence. The police report states that Nichols and the five ex-police got into a confrontation when they first pulled Nichols over during the initial stop and then again once he was placed under arrest. At this point, Nichols endured a beating so brutal that it ultimately resulted in his death.
The Guardian reported that the five ex-police beat Nichols continuously for three solid minutes. When firefighter paramedics later arrived on the scene, they were forced to give Nichols preliminary treatment for his injuries and then rush him to the hospital for more extensive care. Nichols died three days later from complications.
An independent autopsy authorized by Nichols’ family revealed that Nichols died from the extensive bleeding caused by the beating. “He was a human piñata for those police officers,” said the Nichols family attorney Antonio Romanucci. “Not only was it violent, it was savage.”
Bean, Haley, Mills, Jr., Martin III, and Smith were immediately fired following the incident. Officials stated the five flouted departmental policy, including excessive use of force, duty to intervene, and duty to render aid. The five have since been arrested and charged with the murder.
Additionally, the two firefighter paramedics are also being investigated for possible policy violations committed during the initial care given Nichols. The two have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
Source: The Guardian
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