Five former Memphis officers indicted federally in Tire Nichols case

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) – Indictments were filed Tuesday in federal court accusing five former Memphis police officers of depriving Tire Nichols of his rights during a Jan. 7 arrest that led to his death.

The indictment lists four separate counts, including excessive force and failure to intervene, willful indifference, conspiracy to commit witness tampering and witness tampering for former officers as well as Emmitt Martin, Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith.

It also details the obvious acts the officers committed during the incident. One of the acts involves Haley and Mills removing their body-worn cameras and putting them aside before meeting with the other officers to discuss the force used on Nichols and making statements such as: “I thought when he didn’t.” would fall, we would say “I was about to kill this man” while emergency responders were on the scene.

“The country watched in horror as Tire Nichols was kicked, beaten, insulted and pepper-sprayed, and we all heard Mr. Nichols calling for his mother and saying, ‘I’m just trying to go home,'” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “Officers who violate the civil rights of those they are sworn to protect undermine the public safety that depends on community trust in law enforcement. They dishonor their colleagues who do their jobs with integrity every day. The Department of Justice will continue to hold accountable officials who violate their oath.”

Counts one and two carry a maximum penalty of life in prison, while counts three and four each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

“Tyre Nichols should be alive today,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “It is tragic to see a life cut short at the age of 29, so many milestones not reached, so many words unspoken, so much potential unfulfilled. These federal charges reflect the Justice Department’s unwavering commitment to protecting the constitutional and civil rights of every American and upholding the integrity of the criminal justice system. We stand ready to hold police officers accountable for their misconduct because in our country no one is above the law.”

All five men who were there has now disbanded the MPD’s SCORPION unitare also charged in Shelby County with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of official misconduct and official oppression.

The Justice Department said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney Kevin G. Ritz for the Western District of Tennessee will hold a news conference in Memphis on Tuesday to make a civil rights announcement make.

The press conference is scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m. CT.

In July, the Justice Department opened an investigation into the Memphis Police Department and the city of Memphis to determine whether there is a pattern of constitutional or civil rights violations against citizens.

As part of its investigation, the department’s Civil Rights Division has held public meetings and encouraged people Citizens can share their experiences with MPD officers.

The DOJ says the prosecution is separate from the civil rights investigation and will be conducted separately and independently of the criminal case.

This story will be updated.

Laura Coffey

Laura Coffey is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Laura Coffey joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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