Five Memphis Police Department officers in Tennessee have been fired after Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old father, died in the hospital days after he was detained in a traffic stop.
The exact cause of Nichols’ death has not yet been released.
Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr., and Justin Smith were terminated after violating “multiple department policies” during their interaction with Nichols.
The Memphis Police Department announced Friday that it fired five police officers following their investigation into the recent death of a Memphis man after a confrontation with police.
The officers were identified as Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith.
The department tweeted that it concluded its administrative investigation into the Jan. 7 death of Tyre Nichols, 29, who was stopped by police for alleged reckless driving.
During the encounter with officers, Nichols allegedly ran away when approached, causing the officers to pursue Nichols and ultimately apprehend him, police said. Nichols was hospitalized in critical condition after complaining of shortness of breath during the arrest and died three days later, police allege. Nichols’ cause of death has yet to be released.
“After a thorough review of the circumstances surrounding this incident, we have determined that five MPD officers violated multiple department policies, including excessive use of force, duty to intervene, and duty to render aid,” the department said in a statement Friday.
Civil rights attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci, who are representing the Nichols family, released a statement Friday in response to the firing. They called for justice, transparency and accountability.
“We join Tyre’s family in supporting the Department’s decision to terminate the five officers who brutalized him, ultimately causing his death. This is the first step towards achieving justice for Tyre and his family. They must also be held accountable for robbing this man of his life and his son of a father,” the statement read.
Due to Nichols’ hospitalization, the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office was contacted, and TBI special agents were subsequently requested to conduct a use-of-force investigation, according to the TBI.
Body camera footage of the incident has not yet been released.
In a statement from Shelby County District Attorney’s Office, the office said they are committed to “transparency.”
“We’re working with the appropriate agencies to determine how quickly we can release the video and will do so as soon as we can. We’ll be sure to update the public throughout this process,” the statement added.
The death of Nichols sparked protests throughout the weekend in Memphis calling for the release of footage from the officer-worn body cameras.
Mayor Jim Strickland and Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis said the video will be released “after the family of Mr. Nichols has had the opportunity to review the video privately,” according to a joint statement.
The investigation should be completed by the end of this week, according to the joint statement.
“All of the available information tells us that this was the tragic and preventable death of a young man deeply beloved by his family and community,” Crump said. “This kind of in-custody death destroys community trust if agencies are not swiftly transparent. The most effective way for the Memphis Police Department to be transparent with the grieving Nichols family and the Memphis community is to release the body camera and surveillance footage from the traffic stop.”
He added, “Nobody should ever die from a simple traffic stop — the footage is the only way to discern the true narrative of why and how that happened to Tyre.”