5 Memphis officers fired for involvement in death of Tire Nichols
The family of Tire Nichols, the Memphis man who died days after being arrested and beaten by police, has spoken out after viewing footage of the incident.
Nichols, 29, died on January 10, three days after a traffic stop turned into a confrontation with officers that ended up with him in the hospital.
A private autopsy, described by the Nichols family on Tuesday, showed the 29-year-old suffered ‘extensive bleeding,’ before death.
Family members and their attorneys met with Memphis police and reviewed the footage on Monday before it was publicly released.
Civil rights lawyer Ben Crump called the video “appalling, heinous, violent and troublesome.”
“We’re seeing evidence of what happens to Black and brown people from simple traffic stops,” Mr Crump said. “You should not be killed from a simple traffic stop.”
“Regretably, it reminded us of (the) Rodney King video,” added Mr Crump said.
Five officers, all of whom were Black, were fired from the department in the wake of the incident.
Tire Nichols suffered ‘extensive bleeding,’ autopsy shows
A preliminary independent autospy showed Tire Nichols suffered “extensive bleeding” during a violent police stop this month, after which the 29-year-old eventually died.
“We can state that preliminary findings indicate Tire suffered extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating, and that his observed injuries are consistent with what the family and attorneys witnessed on the video of his fatal encounter with police on January 7, 2023,” attorneys for his family wrote in a statement on Tuesday, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports.
The attorneys also described the injuries as a result of the “unadulterated…beating of [Nichols] for three minutes,” which they compared to the infamous 1991 beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police.
Josh Marcus24 January 2023 22:00
ICYMI: Another Black man killed by police and his mother wants answers
There is so much that is uniquely appalling about the death of the young father after the traffic stop on 7 January, a few hundred meters from home.
One is that yet another child has been left without a father.
And just as the last desperate words of both Eric Garner, killed by police in New York City, and George Floyd, murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis, were “I can’t breathe”, Tire’s equally helpless confusion was captured in his: “What did I do wrong?”
Yet as Crump and his fellow attorney, Antonio Romanucci, underscored as they and the family of the young man spoke to the media in Tennessee on Monday, what is equally awful is how so many of these police killings echo one another.
They are the same but different and yet they keep happening.
Read more from Andrew Buncombe‘s full piece for Independent Voices.
Josh Marcus25 January 2023 10:30
Tire Nichols investigation leads to firings and suspensions across multiple Memphis departments
Two Memphis Fire Department employees have been removed from duty while the agency conducts an investigation into the death of a Black man after a violent arrest that led to the firing of five police officers.
The employees were involved in the initial patient care of Tire Nichols, the Memphis Fire Department said in a statement.
Memphis police officers beat Nichols on Jan. 7 for three minutes, treating him like “a human piñata” in a “savage” encounter reminiscent of the infamous 1991 police beating of Los Angeles motorist Rodney King, attorneys for his family of him said Monday after the family saw police video.
More details in our full story.
Josh Marcus25 January 2023 07:59
Why the Tire Nichols case is bringing back memories of Rodney King
Family members, activists, and community residents are comparing a violent January police stop to the infamous Rodney King beating of 1991.
Gustaf Kilander has the details you need to know about the Tire Nichols case in Memphis.
Josh Marcus25 January 2023 05:00
When will the Tire Nichols body camera footage be released and why is it taking so long?
Tire Nichols, 29, died in Memphis, Tennessee on January 10 just three days after being arrested by members of the city’s police department. Now, two weeks later, residents are still waiting to see the body camera footage of the arrest that seemingly led to death.
Mr Nichols was initially pulled over for reckless driving on January 7 and allegedly fled from police. He complained of difficulty breathing shortly after police confronted him and was taken to an area hospital, where he died.
The five officers involved in Mr Nichols’ arrest were fired last week, which civil rights advocates heralded as a step towards justice for Mr Nichols.
But those advocates believe there is still a long way to go before justice is fully served in the death of another Black American following a confrontation with police.
Abe Asher has the details.
Josh Marcus25 January 2023 02:00
Video: ‘This is about transparency’
Community members gathered on Tuesday for a meeting of the Memphis city council, using the forum to demand transparency, including body camera footage, of the police stop that left Tire Nichols in critical condition and likely killed him.
“This is about transparency and dammit we go have it,” one community activist said.
Josh Marcus25 January 2023 01:00
Who are the police officers who stopped Tire Nichols?
The city of Memphis has fired five police officers involved in the violent and eventually fatal traffic stop of Tire Nichols.
Their names are as follows: Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr and Justin Smith
Memphis officials condemned the officers, who were fired on Friday evening.
“The egregious nature of this incident is not a reflection of the good work that our officers perform, with integrity, every day,” Memphis police chief Cerelyn Davis told the New York Times.
Josh Marcus25 January 2023 00:00
‘Firing these officers is not enough,’ Al Sharpton says
Civil rights activist Al Sharpton says officials need to go further than their decision Friday to fire five Memphis police officers involved in the violent traffic stop that resulted in Tire Nichols’s death. “Firing these officers for misconduct is not enough,” Mr Sharpton said in a statement on Tuesday. “Justice will only be served when all five are charged with killing Tire Nichols for the simple act of driving while Black.”
Mr Sharpton added that it didn’t matter that the five officers who stopped Nichols were themselves Black.
“These officers should not be allowed to hide their deeds behind their Blackness,” the activist said.
Josh Marcus24 January 2023 23:00
Family shares touching video of Tire Nichols skateboarding
The Nichols family wants their son Tire to be remembered as more than someone who died during a violent police stop.
On Monday, they shared a video of Nichols doing what he loved most, skateboarding, through their attorney.
The family described him as a doting son.
“My son, nobody is perfect, nobody, but he was damn near,” his mother Row Vaugn Wells said at a recent press conference. “My son, he came here right before the pandemic. He got stuck here because we shut the world down, but he was OK with it, you know why? Because he was with his mother. My son loved me to death.”
Josh Marcus24 January 2023 21:00
Two firefighters taken off duty as part of Tire Nichols probe
Two Memphis firefighters were “relieved of duty” pending an internal investigation into their role in the Tire Nichols case, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports.
The news of their suspension follows the announcement on Friday that five Memphis police officers involved in the violent January arrest of Nichols were fired.
Josh Marcus24 January 2023 20:00