5 police officers fired after Memphis man’s arrest, death

Jan 20, 2023, 2:54 AM | Updated: 8:10 pm
Rodney Wells, Tyre Nichols' stepfather, stands and listens to chants from activists outside of the ...

Rodney Wells, Tyre Nichols' stepfather, stands and listens to chants from activists outside of the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel Monday, Jan. 16, 2023. Nichols died January 10 after a traffic stop with the Memphis Police Department. (Lucas Finton/The Commercial Appeal via AP)

(Lucas Finton/The Commercial Appeal via AP)

              Jamal Dupree, one of Tyre Nichols' older brothers, speaks as family members and activist held a rally for Tyre Nichols at the National Civil Rights Museum on Monday, Jan. 16, 2023, in Memphis, Tenn. Nichols was killed during a traffic stop with Memphis Police on Jan. 7.  (Lucas Finton/The Commercial Appeal via AP)
            
              Kenyana Dixon is comforted during a rally for her brother Tyre Nichols at the National Civil Rights Museum on Monday, Jan. 16, 2023. Nichols was killed during a traffic stop with Memphis Police on Jan. 7. (Mark Weber/Daily Memphian via AP)
            
              Rodney Wells, Tyre Nichols' stepfather, stands and listens to chants as family members and activist held a rally for Tyre Nichols at the National Civil Rights Museum on Monday, Jan. 16, 2023, in Memphis, Tenn. Nichols was killed during a traffic stop with Memphis Police on Jan. 7.  (Lucas Finton/The Commercial Appeal via AP)
            
              Keyana Dixon, Tyre Nichols' older sister, cries as she speaks about the pain her family is feeling in the wake of her brother's death as family members and activist held a rally for Tyre Nichols at the National Civil Rights Museum on Monday, Jan. 16, 2023, in Memphis, Tenn. Nichols was killed during a traffic stop with Memphis Police on Jan. 7.  (Lucas Finton/The Commercial Appeal via AP)
            
              Rodney Wells, Tyre Nichols' stepfather, stands and listens to chants from activists outside of the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel Monday, Jan. 16, 2023. Nichols died January 10 after a traffic stop with the Memphis Police Department. (Lucas Finton/The Commercial Appeal via AP)
            
              Sierra Rogers, holding her daughter Khloe Rogers, 1, wipes away tears as she speaks during a memorial service for her friend Tyre Nichols, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, in Memphis, Tenn. Nichols was killed during a traffic stop with Memphis Police on Jan. 7.  (Mark Weber/Daily Memphian via AP)
            
              Rodney Wells, stepfather of Tyre Nichols speaks during a memorial service for his son Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, in Memphis, Tenn. Nichols was killed during a traffic stop with Memphis Police on Jan. 7.  (Mark Weber/Daily Memphian via AP)
            
              RowVaughn Wells, center,  mother of Tyre Nichols, is comforted during a memorial service for her son on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, in Memphis, Tenn. Nichols was killed during a traffic stop with Memphis Police on Jan. 7.  (Mark Weber/Daily Memphian via AP)
            
              LaRay Honeycutt, center,  along with family members attend a memorial service for her grandson Tyre Nichols, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, in Memphis, Tenn. Nichols was killed during a traffic stop with Memphis Police on Jan. 7.  (Mark Weber/Daily Memphian via AP)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Five Memphis Police Department officers were fired for excessive use of force, failure to intervene and failure to render aid stemming from an arrest during a traffic stop of a man who later died in a hospital, officials said Friday.

The police chief said Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr. and Justin Smith were involved in the Jan. 7 arrest of Tyre Nichols, 29, who was Black.

The Memphis Police Department conducted an internal investigation into the arrest of Nichols, who died three days later, and the discipline came after the probe’s conclusion, authorities said.

The five officers who were fired are all Black, according to the Memphis police public information officer.

The U.S. Justice Department has opened a civil rights investigation. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation also is looking into the force used in the arrest.

Nichols’ family, along with protesters who rallied at a police station and the National Civil Rights Museum, have pushed for the release of police body camera footage and called for officers to be charged.

Relatives have accused police of beating Nichols and causing him to have a heart attack. Authorities said Nichols experienced a medical emergency.

Nichols was arrested after officers stopped him for reckless driving, police said. There was a confrontation when officers approached the driver and he ran before he was confronted again by the pursuing officers, who arrested him, authorities said. He complained of shortness of breath and was hospitalized.

Officials said a cause of death has not yet been determined.

Relatives have said the officers who pulled over Nichols were in an unmarked vehicle and that he experienced cardiac arrest and kidney failure from the officers beating him.

Memphis Chief of Police Cerelyn “CJ” Davis and Mayor Jim Strickland said video footage of the arrest will be released after the police department’s investigation is completed and the family can review it.

The city leaders are arranging a meeting early next week with Nichols’ family, according to a joint statement from Strickland and Davis.

Attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci, who represent Nichols’ family, issued a statement Friday saying they support the department’s decision to fire the officers.

“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 said.

The attorneys said they “will continue to demand transparency and accountability” and plan to review video footage to seek additional clarity about the circumstances leading to Nichols’ death.

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5 police officers fired after Memphis man’s arrest, death