The five police officers who allegedly beat Tyre Nichols to death received charges for several crimes on Thursday, January 26th. Formally, Demetrius Haley, Tadarrius Bean, Justin Smith, Emmitt Martin III, and Desmond Mills Jr. were charged with second-degree murder, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of official misconduct, aggravated assault, and one count of official oppression. The former police officers were booked at the Shelby County Jail, but four were released on bond as of this morning, January 27th.
The nation was shocked by the death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols, who was allegedly beaten by the police officers who stopped him on the road on January 7th. Nichols was said to be driving home from a suburban area after taking photos of the sunset. He was pulled over at around 8:30 p.m. in Memphis, Tennessee. The officers accused Nichols of reckless driving, and claim Nichols tried to flee while they questioned him. It is not clear what happened next, but as police were taking Nichols into custody, he reported shortness of breath and was taken to the hospital. He died on January 10th, three days after his encounter with the police.
Nichols’ family was quick to call for justice after his death. They alleged that the police officers who confronted him proceeded to beat him for three minutes straight and caused the critical injuries that led to his death. Investigation on the matter started immediately, and on January 20th the suspects were identified and immediately fired from the police force. They were identified as Demetrius Haley, Tadarrius Bean, Justin Smith, Emmitt Martin III, and Desmond Mills Jr.
On Monday, January 23rd, Nichols’ family finally saw the video of how the police beat their son like a “human pinata.” The family and their lawyers were appalled by the footage. The video allegedly showed Nichols calling out for his mother as the police officers assaulted him. These claims are likely to be true after the first autopsy showed that Nichols died from injuries caused by “severe beating.”
The officers involved in Nichols’ assault were formally charged for their crimes on Thursday, January 26th. Police Chief Cerelyn Davis said they expect protests to happen as a reaction now that they have charged the perpetrators. Tyre’s stepfather urged protesters to be peaceful, not violent, saying that is not what Tyre would have wanted.
Just a day after the officers were charged, four of the five suspects were able to post bond and are out of jail as of this morning. Coincidentally, the video of the alleged three-minute-long assault is set to go out today, January 27th, at around 6 p.m., according to District Attorney Steve Mulroy.