MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Five former Memphis Police officers involved in a traffic stop that preceded a man’s death have been arrested, records show.
Former officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Justin Smith, Emmitt Martin III and Desmond Mills, Jr. have each been charged with one count of second-degree murder, aggravated assault-acting in concert, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of official misconduct and one count of official oppression, court records show.
The five have been booked at the Shelby County Jail.
The charges come less than a week after the officers were fired and accused of violating department policy during the stop of Tyre Nichols, 29.
Nichols was pulled over Jan. 7 and after two “confrontations” with officers, he “complained of a shortness of breath,” according to an initial statement from police. He was hospitalized in critical condition and died on Jan.10. Memphis police have not explained what happened during the “confrontations” and have not yet publicly released video of the stop.
Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn “C.J.” Davis called the incident “heinous, reckless and inhumane” in a video statement Wednesday.
Memphis police to release video
Mulroy said his office is working with Memphis Police and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation on releasing the video of the incident. He said the video could be released “this week or next.”
Nichols’ family, civil rights attorney Ben Crump and co-counsel Antonio Romanucci viewed the video earlier this week. Crump called the footage “appalling,” and Romanucci said it showed the “unadulterated…beating of [Nichols] for three minutes.”
Other officers under investigation
After an internal investigation, the five officers involved in the stop were fired Jan. 20. The department cited multiple department policy violations, including those on use of force, failure to render aid and their duty to intervene.
Two Memphis firefighters were also “relieved of duty” pending an internal investigation into their actions after the stop, a fire department spokeswoman said.
Chief Davis said Wednesday more officers are under investigation as she conducts a “complete and independent review” of all the department’s specialized units.
Federal investigation launched
The FBI and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have launched investigations into the traffic stop and death. Kevin G. Ritz, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, urged for patience Wednesday as the investigation is completed.
Civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson called for another federal investigation into the Memphis Police Department. Jackson and Bishop Tavis Grant said a thorough investigation would help create stronger policies to restore community trust.
Funeral arrangements made for Nichols
A funeral for Nichols will be held Feb. 1 at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church. The funeral will be open to the public and Sharpton will deliver the eulogy.
The funeral will follow a candlelight vigil Jan. 26 at a Memphis skatepark. A candlelight vigil and memorial will also be hosted in California on Jan. 30 and Feb. 4.
Contributing: N’dea Yancey-Bragg, USA TODAY
Story Credit: usatoday.com