The country is bracing for potential riots as body cam video is set to be released of five former Memphis Police Department officers facing charges after their involvement in the death of a 29-year-old male.
Tyre Nichols died earlier this month in a hospital just days after a confrontation with these five former officers. He was pulled over for a traffic stop by the police for “reckless driving” in Memphis. The police reported that a “confrontation occurred,” and Nichols ran away from the officers on foot as they attempted to apprehend him.
“While attempting to take the suspect into custody, another confrontation occurred; however, the suspect was ultimately apprehended,” MPD said. “Afterward the suspect complained of having shortness of breath, at which point an ambulance was called to the scene.”
Officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmit Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr., and Justin Smith (all black officers) have since been charged with “official misconduct [through] unauthorized exercise of official power, official misconduct [through] failure to perform a duty imposed by law, official oppression, second-degree murder, aggravated assault – act in concert, aggravated kidnapping causing bodily injury, and aggravated kidnapping while possessing a weapon.”
Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis issued a statement Wednesday night about the investigation.
“In light of the horrific circumstances surrounding the death of Tyre Nichols, it is absolutely incumbent upon me, your chief, to address the status of what the Memphis Police Department is doing, has done, and will continue to do in furtherance of finding truth in this tragic loss, ensuring we communicate with honesty and transparency, and that there is absolute accountability for those responsible for Tyre’s death,” Davis said.
“This is not just a professional failing,” Davis said, according to Fox News. “This is a failing of basic humanity toward another individual,” adding the five officers involved in Nichols’ death, “failed our community, and they failed the Nichols family.”
Davis went so far as to say that Nichols’ death was “heinous, reckless, and inhumane,” saying the video footage of Nichols’ confrontation with authorities would be released in the coming days “in the vein of transparency.”
“I expect you to feel what the Nichols family feels,” Davis said. “I expect you to feel outraged by the disregard for basic human rights as our police officers have taken an oath to do the opposite of what transpired on the video.”
BREAKING: The 5 former Memphis Police Department officers have been indicted by a grand jury on charges ranging from second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression for the death of Tyre Nichols. pic.twitter.com/mkPLf4CCHU
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) January 26, 2023