Tire Nichols: Court date set for officers charged in fatal beating

The five former Memphis police officers charged with killing Tyre Nichols during a fatal altercation earlier this month will go on trial in February.

The officers, who have already been released from custody, will appear for a bond hearing on February 17, according to Fox News.

The hearing will take place at 10 a.m. ET before Shelby County Criminal Court Judge James Jones.

Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith are charged with second-degree murder. The officers were fired last week following an investigation into Nichols’ death.

The former officers each face additional charges, which are aggravated assault – acting in concert; aggravated kidnapping; official misconduct and official oppression, according to the Shelby County District Attorney’s office.

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

Video of the violent confrontation between officers from the now-disbanded “Scorpion” unit and 29-year-old Nichols, in which officers can be seen beating him and using batons and Taser weapons to subdue him as he yelled for his mother.

The officers were then seen standing around after the attack and failing to provide any medical aid as they laughed and joked about their roles in the shocking arrest.

The decision to “permanently deactivate the unit” came Saturday after city Police Chief CJ Davis met with the unit’s remaining officers to discuss a way forward in the wake of Nichols’ death.

“In the process of listening intently to the family of Tire Nichols, community leaders and the uninvolved officers who have done quality work in their assignments, it is in everyone’s best interest to permanently disable the SCORPION unit,” the department said in a statement.

“The officers currently assigned to the unit wholeheartedly agree to this next step. While the despicable actions of a few cast a cloud of dishonor on the title of SCORPION, it is imperative that we, the Memphis Police Department, take proactive steps in the healing process for all affected .”

MPD added that the department was committed to “taking every possible measure to rebuild the trust that has been adversely affected by the death of Tyre Nichols.”

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