5 fired Memphis police officers face murder charges in Tyre Nichols' death

 Activists hold photos of Tyre Nichols as attorney Ben Crump speaks on a monitor
(Image credit: The Washington Post / Contributor/Getty Images)

Five Memphis police officers who were fired last week for their actions during the arrest of Tyre Nichols have been arrested and charged in connection to his death following a confrontation during a traffic stop, The Washington Post reports.

The officers were fired last week following the beating death of the 29-year-old Black man, and were jailed on Thursday and charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, and kidnapping, according to booking information.

Shelby County Jail booking information cited by CNN shows that Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills Jr., Emmitt Martin III, Justin Smith, and Tadarrius Bean are all in custody.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

The arrests and criminal charges come three weeks after Nichols was hospitalized following a traffic stop that ended in what his family's attorneys described as a "nonstop beating." According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Nichols died from his injuries three days after the arrest on Jan 10.

In a video statement, Memphis police chief Cerelyn Davis denounced the actions of the officers as "heinous, reckless, and inhumane" while urging residents to protest peacefully when body cam footage of the arrest is released Friday evening. "This is not just a professional failing. This is a failing of basic humanity toward another individual," Davis said.

Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci, the family's attorneys, praised the news of the arrest. "The news today from Memphis officials that these five officers are being held criminally accountable for their deadly and brutal actions gives us hope as we continue to push for justice for Tyre," they wrote in a statement. "This young man lost his life in a particularly disgusting manner that points to the desperate need for change and reform to ensure this violence stops occurring during low-threat procedures, like, in this case, a traffic stop."

To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us