Five former police officers arrested for beating a black youth to death

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The five ex-uniformed were part of the Memphis police. All of the officers involved in the case are African-American. According to the prosecutor in the case, “everyone is responsible.” The charges they face are punishable by between 15 and 60 years in prison.

This Thursday, five former police officers were indicted for the murder of the African-American Tire Nichols, who had a physical confrontation with them. The charges against the five defendants are second degree murder, aggravated assault, official misconduct, aggravated kidnapping and official oppression.

The defendants, who are also African-American, “are all responsible,” according to Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy. Video of the confrontation will be released on Friday night, the prosecutor said.

The footage shows former officers brutally beating Nichols, 29, for three minutes. According to the director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the video was “absolutely appalling.”

Family and supporters hold a photo of Tire Nichols at the hospital at a news conference in Memphis, Tennessee, on January 23, 2023.
Family and supporters hold a photo of Tire Nichols at the hospital at a news conference in Memphis, Tennessee, on January 23, 2023. © AP – Gerald Herbert

“What happened here does not at all reflect proper policing. This was wrong. This was criminal, ”he argued at another time to the press. The five officers were immediately detained.

One of the officers had a history of use of force. In this sense, he was pointed out while he worked in a correctional center. The alleged crime committed by the five former police officers is punishable by 15 to 60 years in prison. The assaulted man died three days after the beating.

A “disgusting way to lose your life”

In a statement, lawyers for the Nichols family highlighted that Tire “lost his life in a particularly disgusting manner that points to the desperate need for change and reform to ensure this violence stops occurring during low threat proceedings,” as in in this case, “a traffic stop”.

“There’s no point putting a body camera on a police officer if you’re not going to hold him accountable when the footage shows him relentlessly beating a man to death,” also said the Rev. Al Sharpton, director of the National Action Network.

“Layoffs are not enough,” Sharpton said. “Indictments and arrests are not convictions. As we have done in the past (…) we will support this family until justice is done, ”he stressed.

White House reaction

The President of the United States spoke about it. “Public trust is the foundation of public safety, and there are still too many places in the United States today where the bonds of trust are frayed or broken,” the president stressed.

Biden pointed out that the city of Memphis and the family of the victim deserve “a full, prompt and transparent investigation.”

For his part, the Memphis police chief described the act as “reckless, atrocious and inhumane.” The authorities have called on the community to react peacefully when the video is published.

with PA

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