Everything we know about Tyre Nichols’ death

ONE The 29-year-old father died in hospital several days after he was arrested by police during a traffic stop.

Now, five Memphis Police Department officers have been removed from their positions and jailed on second-degree murder charges.

Pastor Al Sharpton will deliver the eulogy at the funeral of Tire Nichols on February 1 at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church. The civil rights activist said in a statement “it is not enough to fire these officers for misconduct”.

“Justice will only be done when all five are charged with killing Tire Nichols for the simple act of driving while Black,” he added.

The Chief of Police in Memphis, Cerelyn Davis, called for calm while the footage from the camera is to be released.

“I expect you to feel what the Nichols family is feeling,” she said in a Jan. 25 video statement. “I expect you to feel outraged at the disregard for basic human rights, as our police officers are sworn to do the opposite of what happened in the video.”

Davis asked the public not to react to the footage with violence and destruction.

“I expect our citizens to exercise their First Amendment right to protest, demand action and results,” she said. “But we need to ensure that our community is safe in this process.”

This is all we know so far about the death of Tire Nichols.

“Excessive use of force” by officers

Police said in a statement on January 20 that the officers involved in the arrest of Nichols were guilty of “excessive use of force”.

Police added that officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr and Justin Smith had all been fired after failing to follow “multi-department policy”.

An earlier statement shared by police said they attempted to stop Nichols for “reckless driving” on January 7 at approximately 8:30 p.m. local time, according to Newsweek.

From left are officers Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills, Jr., Emmitt Martin III, Justin Smith and Tadarrius Bean


“When officers approached the driver of the vehicle, a confrontation ensued and the suspect fled the scene on foot,” police said at the time. – Officers pursued the suspect and again attempted to take the suspect into custody. While attempting to take the suspect into custody, another confrontation occurred; However, the suspect was eventually apprehended.”

“Complained of having shortness of breath”

Kenyana Dixon is comforted during a rally for her brother Tire Nichols at the National Civil Rights Museum on January 16


“Afterward, the suspect complained of shortness of breath, when an ambulance was called to the scene,” the statement said. – The suspect was taken to St Francis Hospital in a critical condition.

The young father “succumbed to his injuries” on Jan. 10, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has said.

The agency is looking into whether the officers crossed the law, and a separate civil rights investigation has been launched by the Department of Justice and the FBI.

5 Memphis officers fired for involvement in death of Tire Nichols

Officers failed to ‘render assistance’

The police announced the firing of the officers on 20 January.

“After a thorough review of the circumstances surrounding this incident, we have determined that five MPD officers violated multiple department policies, including excessive use of force, duty to intervene and duty to render aid. Earlier today, each charged officer was terminated from the Memphis Police Department, the agency said.

Lawyer ‘encouraged’ by police response to death

Nichols family attorney Ben Crump, who also represented the family of George Floyd, told Action News 5 that “when the police kill a person unjustly, especially a black person … normally they delay, delay, delay. But I’m encouraged because Chief Davis and city officials communicated with me yesterday.”

Footage from the body camera must be published

Body camera footage from the incident is expected to be released “this week or next,” Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy said Jan. 23, according to NBC News.

“Transparency remains a priority in this incident, and a premature release could negatively impact the criminal investigation and judicial process,” Chief Davis said in a statement.

Family shown footage before public release

Rodney Wells speaks during a memorial service for his son on January 17


The family have now been shown the footage of the traffic stop ahead of Mr Nichols being taken to hospital before his death.

Officials from the police department and the city of Memphis said Jan. 23 that they met with the Nichols family that morning to view the footage.

In a joint statement, Crump and fellow attorney Antonio Romanucci said the footage would provide “clarity about what led to the loss of this young man, father and son.”

“We will continue to demand transparency and accountability in this case and will not stop until we achieve full justice for Tyre and his family,” they added.

President of the Memphis Police Association, Lt. Essica Cage-Rosario, told NBC News that “the citizens of Memphis, and more importantly, the family of Mr. Nichols deserve to know the full account of the events that led to his death and what may have contributed to it,” but declined to comment on the officials’ removal, noting that the investigation is ongoing.

Lawyer calls for riots in Los Angeles in 1992

During a press conference on January 23, Mr Crump said “regrettably it reminded us of the Rodney King video”.

Mr King was beaten by Los Angeles police in March 1991. The acquittal of the four officers involved the following year led to the LA riots.

Mr Crump said Chief Davis shared her condolences with the family, not as a police chief but as a “black mother”.

Nichols was a “defenseless … human piñata,” attorney says

Romanucci added that police used an unmarked car from the department’s organized crime unit during the traffic stop, adding that they “anticipated violence.” WREG reported.

The attorney said Nichols was “defenseless” and a “human piñata,” and questioned why officers in an unmarked vehicle conducted a traffic stop.

“He was defenseless the whole time. He was a human piñata to these police officers. It was an unadulterated, unabashed, non-stop beating of this young boy for three minutes,” he said, according to CNN.

Mr Nichols’ mother, RaVaughn Wells, said the last time she saw her son, he went to watch the sunset at Shelby Farms Park, which he did most weekends.

Noting that he was passionate about skateboarding, she said he was only two minutes away from her house when they murdered him,” according to WREG.

Skateboarder Kam Blakely skates in front of City Hall in memory of Tire Nichols


“No father, mother should witness what I saw”

Nichols’ stepfather, Rodney Wells, said during the January 23 press conference that “what I saw on the video today was horrific”.

“No father, mother should witness what I saw today,” he added.

“Again, we’re seeing evidence of what’s happening to black and brown people from simple traffic stops,” Crump said. “Simple traffic stop. You shouldn’t be killed because of a simple traffic stop.”

“It’s terrible. It’s regrettable. It’s horrific,” he added of the footage. “It’s violent. It’s disturbing on every level.”

The civil rights lawyer said Ms Wells could not get through the screening after Nichols said “what did I do?”

The lawyer added that Nichols was heard calling for his mother three times at the end of the footage.

“Nobody’s perfect, okay, nobody,” Wells told the media. “But he was damn close.”

“Our son ran because he was afraid for his life,” Wells said. “He didn’t run because he was trying to get rid of no drugs, no guns, none of that. He ran because he was scared for his life. And when you watch the video, you’ll see why he was scared for his life.”

Officials are working to expedite the investigation

Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy told CNN on Jan. 24 that authorities were working to expedite the investigation to allow the footage to be released and to make a decision on whether the officers will be charged.

“I know people are very, very concerned about this. I think the incident has the potential to undermine confidence in the fairness of our police force and the criminal justice system, he said.

The communications director for the Shelby County District Attorney’s office, Erica Williams, told CNN on Monday that the footage “should be made public, it’s just a matter of when.”

Mulroy said the officers involved could have been influenced by substandard training by the department, as well as the actions of other officers.

“I think all of those things could be a factor,” he told CNN. “And it’s my hope that this incident, as tragic as it is, can lead to a broader conversation about reforming our police department, including de-escalation training and things like that.”

Officers charged with second-degree murder

On January 26, Washington Post reported that the officers had been charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression, according to Shelby County Jail records.

Memphis Police Chief Criticizes Officers’ ‘Failure of Basic Humanity’

Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis released a video statement on January 25.

“This is a failure of basic humanity towards another individual … and in the spirit of transparency when the video is released in the coming days, you will see this for yourself,” she said.

She added that the officers were “directly responsible” for the “physical abuse” of Nichols, calling the officers’ actions “heinous, reckless and inhumane”.

“I expect you to feel what the Nichols family feels,” she added. “I expect you to feel outraged at the disregard for basic human rights, as our police officers are sworn to do the opposite of what happened in the video.”

Davis asked the public not to react to the footage with violence and destruction.

“I expect our citizens to exercise their First Amendment right to protest, demand action and results,” she said. “But we need to ensure that our community is safe in this process.”

She added that “none of this is a calling card to incite violence or destruction of our society or against our citizens”.

“In our hurt and our outrage and our frustration, there is still work to be done to build each other up to continue the momentum in improving police-community relations and partnerships,” she said.

Davis noted that she had met with Ms. Wells and that she has ordered internal reviews and training for the department.

Federal investigation ‘may take some time’

The U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, Kevin Ritz, said Jan. 25 that “as I told Mr. Nichols’ family, our federal investigation may take some time. These things often do”.

“But we will be diligent and we will make decisions based on the facts and the law,” he added during the press briefing, not taking questions from reporters.

City of Memphis publishes video footage from police bodycam

Memphis officials released the full video footage of the deadly interaction between five MPD officers and Tire Nichols at 7:00 PM ET on Friday, the 27th. January.

The video showed officers pulling Nichols from his car and firing a Taser weapon at him before he fled the scene on foot.

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