Five men who were Memphis police officers only days ago were jailed and charged with murder on Thursday. The five were fired last week after the arrest and death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols, reports the Washington Post. The former officers are Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills Jr., Emmitt Martin III, Justin Smith, and Tadarrius Bean. Nichols' family viewed body-camera video and say he was brutally beaten and Tasered following a traffic stop on Jan. 7. Police say Nichols fled on foot after being stopped for alleged reckless driving, before being caught by the officers near his home. He died three days later, per the AP.
All five are charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct, and official oppression. Police say they plan to make video footage of the arrest public either this week or next, and the police chief has asked residents in advance to protest peacefully when that happens. “This is not just a professional failing," said Memphis Police Director Cerelyn “CJ” Davis. "This is a failing of basic humanity toward another individual." All five of the fired officers are Black, as was Nichols. Ben Crump, an attorney representing the family, likened the beating to that of Rodney King three decades ago. The King beating set off the Los Angeles riots when video of it surfaced. (Read more Memphis stories.)