5 Memphis police officers shot and killed Tire Nichols

Five Memphis Police Officers Involved in the Arrest of Tire Nichols – who died three days after a traffic stop earlier this month — has been fired, the department announced Friday.

The five officers were fired after an “internal investigation” determined they “violated several departmental guidelines, including excessive force, duty to intervene and duty to render aid,” Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis said in a statement.

The five officers were identified of the department such as Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith.

Cover Nichols
A portrait of Tire Nichols is displayed at a memorial service for him on January 17, 2023 in Memphis, Tennessee. Nichols was killed following a traffic stop with Memphis Police on January 7. He died three days later, on 10 January.

Adrian Sainz / AP

On Jan. 7, 29-year-old Nichols, who is Black, was arrested after officers pulled him over for reckless driving, police said.

There was a confrontation when officers approached the driver, and he ran before being confronted again by the pursuing officers, who arrested him, authorities said. He complained of shortness of breath and was hospitalized. Officials said the cause of death has not yet been determined.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the state police agency, said Nichols died on January 10. The agency is conducting a use of force investigation at the request of Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy.

The five officers who were fired are all black, according to a Memphis police public information officer.

Federal authorities announced Wednesday they launched a civil rights investigation into the actions of Memphis police.

Relatives have said the officers who stopped Nichols were in an unmarked vehicle and that he suffered cardiac arrest and kidney failure due to beatings by officers.

Davis and Mayor Jim Strickland said Tuesday that video footage of the arrest will be released after the police department’s investigation is complete and the family can view it.

After initially declining comment on the Justice Department’s investigation, the city of Memphis issued a statement late Wednesday afternoon saying it will cooperate fully with the federal agencies conducting the investigation.

At a memorial service for Nichols on Tuesday, family and friends remembered him as a happy, lovable man who worked making boxes at FedEx, enjoyed skateboarding and regularly drank coffee and chatted with friends at Starbucks. Some of those present wore T-shirts with the words “Justice for Tyre” and “Skate in Peace”.

Relatives said Nichols was from California and moved to Memphis about a year ago. He had two brothers and a sister, relatives said.

Nichols’ stepfather, Rodney Wells, said during the service that Nichols’ supporters want the officers involved in the arrest to be charged with first-degree murder.

“We’re not going down without a fight,” Wells said.

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