The Memphis Police Department (MPD) has announced that five of its officers have been terminated from the department following an investigation into the death of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Memphis man. The officers involved in the incident have been identified as Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith.
According to the MPD, their investigation into the tragic death of Mr. Nichols determined that the officers violated multiple department policies, including excessive use of force, duty to intervene, and duty to render aid. The department issued a statement emphasizing its commitment to protecting and defending the rights of every citizen in the city and distancing itself from the actions of the terminated officers. “The egregious nature of this incident is not a reflection of the good work that our officers perform, with integrity, every day,” said Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis.
The death of Tyre Nichols, who was stopped by police for “reckless driving” on January 7th, has brought national scrutiny to the department and the city. According to police, a confrontation occurred during the stop, and Nichols ran away. After a pursuit, police claim another confrontation occurred before taking him into custody. Family members of Nichols say that the second confrontation happened on Castlegate Lane, just yards from where he lived and under a SkyCop camera. Nichols was taken to the hospital in critical condition, where he died on January 10th.
Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy also released a statement, saying that they understand the public’s desire for transparency and that they are committed to releasing video footage of the incident as soon as possible. However, he emphasized that they must do so without compromising their ability to arrive at justice in the case. He urged the public to have patience as they gather all necessary information.
The family of Tyre Nichols, who worked at FedEx, said he was a 6’4″ man who weighed 145-150 lbs. He leaves behind a 4-year-old son. They described him as a person who “everywhere he went, he left an impact” with a “pure soul” and loved helping people.
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