MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WTVF) — A video showing the police interaction that led to the death of Tyre Nichols in Memphis has been made public. The videos are available below:
NewsChannel 5 is reviewing the video and will add more throughout the evening.
Five officers fired in connection to the beating and death of Nichols have been booked into the Shelby County Jail.
Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith were terminated last Friday following the death of Tyre Nichols during a traffic stop earlier in January. These are the same five officers that were terminated by the Memphis Police Department and are currently in custody.
"We are here today because of a tragedy that wounds one family deeply," Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy said. "We acknowledge the grief and the great concern throughout all of Memphis and Shelby County. We met several times this week with the family of Tyre Nichols. We are grateful for their patience as we expedite the investigation and the understanding of the premature release of the video could compromise both."
All five now ex-officers have been charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault- act in concert, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression.
"The actions of all of them resulted in the death of Tyre Nichols and they are responsible," Mulroy said. "This is an ongoing investigation and there are limits on what we can say as we continue to seek justice in this case. We know the public is concerned if they can see the video. I have been in regular contact with the City of Memphis. The city will release the video sometime after 6 p.m. Friday."
Defense attorney William Massey confirmed to The Associated Press that his client, Emmitt Martin III, had been charged and had turned himself in.
"We are here to pursue truth and justice, realizing we shouldn't be here," TBI director David Rausch said. "This shouldn't have happened. I have devoted my life to this profession, and frankly, I am shocked. I am sickened by what I saw. I have seen the video and you will, too. In a word, it's absolutely appalling. What happened here doesn't reflect proper policing. This was wrong. The charges announced today speaks to the investigation, and our work is not finished."
It was not immediately clear if Smith had a lawyer to speak on his behalf about the charges. Blake Ballin, the lawyer for Mills, said he planned to hold a news conference later Thursday.
Second-degree murder is a class A felony punishable by 15 to 60 years in prison under Tennessee law.
Please see the attached statement. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/5ParaWvR52— Memphis Police Dept (@MEM_PoliceDept) January 21, 2023
Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy said he would provide an update on the state's investigation Thursday afternoon.
A recap of what happened
On January 7th, 2023, Memphis Police say they pulled Tyre Nichols over for “reckless driving” which resulted in multiple confrontations. Following the arrest, Nichols was transported to the hospital where he died three days later. He suffered “extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating,” according to an independent autopsy commissioned by attorneys representing the Nichols family.
Nichols’ family said he was beaten so badly by Memphis police that he became "unrecognizable."
On January 15th, 2023, the Memphis Police Department announced the officers were relieved of duty as they began an internal investigation. Five days later, the police department terminated the five officers involved. An internal investigation found the officers violated department policies for use of force, duty to intervene, and duty to render aid.
“This is not just a professional failing. This is a failing of basic humanity toward another individual," Memphis Police Director Cerelyn “CJ” Davis said in a video statement that was released late Wednesday on social media. Davis adds that other officers are still being investigated for violating department police.
Video footage expected to be released
According to a letter obtained by NewsChannel 5, videos relating to the arrest of Tyre Nichols will be made public on Friday. Video footage of the arrest has been shown to Nichols' family, but has not been made public, though local officials have pledged to release it this week or next week.
Nichols’ family viewed the footage Monday. Ben Crump, the attorney representing Nichols’ family, said police video the family viewed showed Nichols — a 29-year-old FedEx worker and father — was shocked, pepper-sprayed and restrained when he was pulled over for a traffic stop near his home. He was returning home from a suburban park, where he had taken photos of the sunset. The legal team said officers beat Nichols for three minutes in a “savage” encounter reminiscent of the infamous 1991 police beating of Los Angeles motorist Rodney King.
Relatives have accused the police of causing Nichols to have a heart attack and kidney failure. Authorities have only said Nichols experienced a medical emergency.
When video of the arrest is publicly released, Davis said she expects the community to react.
“I expect our citizens to exercise their First Amendment right to protest, to demand actions and results, but we need to ensure our community is safe in this process," she said. "None of this is a calling card for inciting violence or destruction on our community or against our citizens."
Davis said the fired officers' actions aren't a reflection of the good work that many Memphis Police Department officers do every day and she pledged to take action to make improvements at the agency.
“It is my intent, as a proactive measure, to ensure that a complete and independent review is conducted on all of the Memphis Police Department’s specialized units and the commitment of my executive leadership to ensure that policies and procedures are adhered to in our daily encounters with the citizens we are sworn to serve," she said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.