Five Officers Charged With Murder in Memphis Police Killing


Lera Andronova, Author

Throughout the past year, various types of murder have collectively been at an all-time high. Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old black male, was severely injured by multiple police officers and later found dead.

Nichols died on January 10th, only 3 days after he had been beaten and hospitalized.

Steve Mulroy, Shelby County District Attorney, spoke on the issue and released a number of details on the situation. At the scene of the assault on January 7, Nichols was stopped at a traffic light and an “altercation” appeared to have taken place soon after, as Mulroy says. Reportedly, the officers doused the victim in pepper spray and Nichols, who was driving a motorcycle at the time, attempted to flee by foot to avoid the situation escalating. Despite Nichols’ efforts, another altercation occurred shortly after, where he was beaten and “experienced serious injuries”, Mulroy said. Tyre Nichols was then taken to the hospital in an ambulance and was reported to have “complained about his shortness of breath.” Though Steve Mulroy refused to comment on the legality of the initial traffic stop, he claimed more details would be released soon. 

The five officers — Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills, Jr. Emmitt Martin III, and Justin Smith — were aged from 24 to 32 years and were all black. After the incident, these officers were each fired from the department and charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct, and official oppression. The men were dismissed on January 21 and taken into custody on January 26.

As of now, many details on this case are still unclear, but the Shelby County District and Memphis Police Department are working together to find and release new information.

This case is different than most situations like these because this includes officers of color hurting another person of color, while normally white police officers hurt people of color. Many people have had mixed responses to this.