Officials: 5 officers in Memphis fired following investigation into arrest, death of man

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Five police officers in Memphis, Tennessee, were fired following an internal investigation into an arrest and death of a man earlier in the month.

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In a news release, Memphis Police Department said on Friday following the death of Tyre Nichols and a review of the circumstances surrounding the incident, the department decided to fire five of its officers.

Memphis Police Department said that it was determined that the officers had violated multiple policies that the department has which include excessive use of force, duty to intervene, and duty to render aid.

Memphis Police Department said the officers were fired earlier in the day on Friday. They were identified as Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr., and Justin Smith. Smith and Martin were hired in March 2018. Mills was hired in March 2017. Bean and Haley were both hired in August 2020.

According to The Associated Press, all five officers were involved in the arrest of Nichols, 29, on Jan 7.

All five officers who were fired and Nichols were all Black, the Memphis Police Department said, according to the AP.

Nichols was pulled over by officers for reckless driving, police said, according to WHBQ. Officers claimed that Nichols ran, leading to multiple confrontations between the officers and Nichols. He was eventually arrested and officers showed “use of force.”

Following the confrontations, Nichols reportedly complained of shortness of breath, Memphis Police Department said according to WHBQ. Nichols was taken to the hospital where he died on Jan. 10.

“The Memphis Police Department is committed to protecting and defending the rights of every citizen in our city. The egregious nature of this incident is not a reflection of the good work that our officers perform, with integrity, every day,” Memphis Police Department Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis said in the news release.

A civil rights investigation has been reportedly opened by the United States Justice Department, according to the AP. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is reportedly looking into the force that was used during the arrest.

WHBQ reported that any criminal charges that may or may not come as a result of the incident between the officers and Nichols would be announced later on.

No further information has been released.

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