OAN’s Abril Elfi
2:18 PM – Tuesday, September 12, 2023
The five former Memphis Police Department (MPD) officers charged in Tyre Nichols’ death have been indicted.
According to court documents filed on Tuesday, Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith, were all indicted after being charged with one count each of excessive force and deliberate indifference, as well as two charges of witness tampering.
The former officers are also facing criminal court charges in Shelby County, Tennessee, for second-degree murder, aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of official misconduct, and official oppression.
All five men pleaded not guilty to these charges during their initial court hearing on February 17th.
Nichols had died a few days later after being pulled over for a traffic violation, where he was beaten by the former Memphis cops on January 7th.
The extent of the beating was made public when body camera videos and surveillance footage from Nichols’ arrest were made public on January 27th.
According to the county prosecutor at the time, it contradicted what the officers claimed had occurred in the initial police report.
Nichols’ immediate family has also filed a lawsuit against the city of Memphis, the Memphis police department, and the 5 former officers.
Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci, attorneys representing Nichols’ family, gave a statement after the hearing.
“The news today from the United States Justice Department that there will be criminal accountability on the federal level for Tyre’s death gives his family hope as they continue to grieve his loss and inspire change in his honor,” Crump and Romanucci said.
The federal charges come after the Department of Justice (DOJ) launched an investigation into the City of Memphis and its police department for its use of force, searches, arrests, and alleged “discriminatory policing.”
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