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Tyre Nichols: Arraignment date set for officers charged in fatal beating

City of Memphis released video of violent arrest that saw police department fire five officers

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Sunday 29 January 2023 19:18 GMT
SNL addresses Tyre Nichols video in rare serious moment for comedy show

The five former Memphis police officers charged with murdering Tyre Nichols during a fatal altercation earlier this month will be arraigned in February.

The officers, who have already been released from custody, will appear for a bond arraignment on 17 February, according to Fox News.

The hearing will take place at 10am ET before Shelby County criminal court judge James Jones.

Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith have been charged with second-degree murder. The officers were fired last week after an investigation into Mr Nichols’ death.

The former officers are each facing additional charges, which are aggravated assault – acting in concert; aggravated kidnapping; official misconduct and official oppression, according to the Shelby County District Attorney’s office.

The police department announced the firing of the officers on 20 January.

Video of the violent confrontation between officers from the now disbanded “Scorpion” unit and 29-year-old Nichols, during which officers can be seen punching him and using batons and taser weapons to subdue him as he cried out for his mother.

The officers were then seen standing around after the attack and failing to provide any medical care as they laughed and joked about their roles in the shocking arrest.

The decision to “permanently deactivate” the unit came on Saturday after the city’s police chief CJ Davis met with the unit’s remaining officers to discuss a way forward in the wake of the death of Nichols.

“In the process of listening intently to the family of Tyre Nichols, community leaders, and the uninvolved officers who have done quality work in their assignments, it is in the best interests of all to permanently deactivate the SCORPION unit,” the department said in a statement.

“The officers currently assigned to the unit agree unreservedly with this next step. While the heinous actions of a few casts a cloud of dishonor on the title SCORPION, it is imperative that we, the Memphis Police Department take proactive steps in the healing process for all impacted.”

MPD added that the department was committed to “taking every measure possible to rebuild the trust that has been negatively affected by the death of Mr Tyre Nichols.”

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