Five cops charged with murder of Tyre Nichols, vigil held in Memphis

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Tyre Nichols’ mother and stepfather were joined by several dozen supporters on a cold night in Memphis, Tennessee for a candlelight vigil and prayer service the fallen 29-year-old. They gathered at Tobey Skatepark. Nichols, who had a 4-year-old son, was an avid skateboarder.

Five fired Memphis police officers were charged Thursday with murder and other crimes in the killing of Tyre Nichols, a Black motorist who died three days after a confrontation with the officers during a traffic stop.

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Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy told a news conference that although the officers each played different roles in the killing, “they are all responsible.”

The officers, who are all Black, each face charges of second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression.

Video of the Jan. 7 traffic stop will be released to the public sometime Friday evening, Mulroy said.

The Nichols family and their lawyers say the footage shows officers savagely beating the 29-year-old FedEx worker for three minutes in an assault that the legal team likened to the infamous 1991 police beating of Los Angeles motorist Rodney King.

Court records showed that all five former officers — Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills Jr., Emmitt Martin III and Justin Smith — were taken into custody.

The records did not list attorneys for Smith, Bean or Haley. Martin’s lawyer, William Massey, confirmed that his client had turned himself in. He and Mills’ lawyer, Blake Ballin, said their clients would plead not guilty.

Second-degree murder is punishable by 15 to 60 years in prison under Tennessee law.

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