The five Memphis police officers who were fired last week for their actions during the arrest of Tyre Nichols have been arrested and charged in connection to his death following a confrontation during a traffic stop, The Washington Post reports.
The officers were fired last week following the beating death of the 29-year-old Black man, and were jailed on Thursday and charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, and kidnapping, according to booking information.
Shelby County Jail booking information shows that Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills Jr., Emmitt Martin III, Justin Smith, and Tadarrius Bean are all in custody, per CNN.
The arrests and criminal charges come three weeks after Nichols was hospitalized following a traffic stop that ended in what his family's attorneys described as a "nonstop beating." According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Nichols died from his injuries three days after the arrest on Jan 10.
In a video statement, Memphis police chief Cerelyn Davis denounced the actions of the officers as "heinous, reckless and inhumane" while urging residents to protest peacefully when body cam footage of the arrest is released. "This is not just a professional failing. This is a failing of basic humanity toward another individual," Davis said.
Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci, the family's attorneys, released a statement praising the news of the arrest. "The news today from Memphis officials that these five officers are being held criminally accountable for their deadly and brutal actions gives us hope as we continue to push for justice for Tyre," they wrote, per The Associated Press. "This young man 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 procedures, like, in this case, a traffic stop."
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