Everything we know about the death of Tyre Nichols

A 29-year-old father died in hospital several days after he was taken into custody by police during a traffic stop.

Now five officers at the Memphis Police Department have been removed from their posts.

This is everything we know so far about the death of Tyre Nichols.

‘Excessive use of force’ by officers

The police said in a statement on Friday that the officers involved in the arrest of Mr Nichols were guilty of an “excessive use of force”.

Police added that officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr, and Justin Smith had all been fired after they failed to follow “multiple department policies”.

A previous statement shared by police stated that they attempted to pull over Mr Nichols for “reckless driving” on 7 January, at about 8.30pm local time, according to Newsweek.

From left are officers Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills, Jr., Emmitt Martin III, Justin Smith and Tadarrius Bean.


“As officers approached the driver of the vehicle, a confrontation occurred, and the suspect fled the scene on foot,” police said. “Officers pursued the suspect and again attempted to take the suspect into custody. While attempting to take the suspect into custody, another confrontation occurred; however, the suspect was ultimately apprehended.”

‘Complained of having a shortness of breath’

Kenyana Dixon is comforted during a rally for her brother Tyre Nichols at the National Civil Rights Museum on January16


“Afterwards, the suspect complained of having a shortness of breath, at which time an ambulance was called to the scene,” the statement said. “The suspect was transported to St Francis Hospital in critical condition.”

The young father “succumbed to his injuries” on 10 January, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has said.

The agency is looking into whether the officers crossed the boundaries of the law, and a separate civil rights investigation has been started by the Department of Justice and the FBI.

5 Memphis officers fired for involvement in death of Tyre Nichols

Officers failed to ‘render aid’

The police department announced the firing of the officers on Friday.

“After a thorough review of the circumstances surrounding this incident, we have determined that five MPD officers violated multiple department policies, including excessive use of force, duty to intervene, and duty to render aid. Earlier today, each officer charged was terminated from the Memphis Police Department,” the agency said.

Lawyer ‘encouraged’ by police response to death

Nichols family attorney Ben Crump, who also represented the family of George Floyd, told Action News 5 that “when police kill a person unjustly, especially a Black person … normally they delay, delay, delay. But I am encouraged because Chief Davis and city officials communicated with me yesterday”.

Body camera footage to be released

The body camera footage from the incident is expected to be made public “this week or next,” Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy said on Monday, according to NBC News.

“Transparency remains a priority in this incident, and a premature release could adversely impact the criminal investigation and the judicial process,” Chief Davis said in a statement.

Family shown footage ahead of public release

Rodney Wells speaks during a memorial service for his son on 17 January


The family has now been shown the footage from the traffic stop in the lead-up to Mr Nichols being taken to hospital before his death.

Officials from the police department and the city of Memphis said on Monday that they met with the Nichols family on Monday morning to watch the footage.

In a joint statement, Mr Crump and fellow attorney Antonio Romanucci said that the footage would deliver “clarity into what led to the loss of this young man, father, and son”.

“We will continue to demand transparency and accountability in this case, and will not stop until we achieve full justice for Tyre and his family,” they added.

Memphis Police Association President Lt Essica Cage-Rosario told NBC News that “the citizens of Memphis, and more importantly, the family of Mr Nichols deserve to know the complete account of the events leading up to his death and what may have contributed to it,” but declined to comment on the officers’ removal, noting that the investigation is ongoing.

Lawyer invokes 1992 Los Angeles riots

During a press conference on Monday afternoon, Mr Crump said “regrettably it reminded us of the Rodney King video”.

Mr King was beaten by Los Angeles police in March 1991. The acquittal of the four officers involved the following year led to the LA riots.

Mr Crump said Chief Davis shared her condolences with the family not as a police chief but as a “Black mother”.

Nichols was a ‘defenceless … human piñata,’ attorney says

Mr Romanucci added that police used an unmarked car from the department’s organized crime unit during the traffic stop, adding that they were “anticipating violence,” WREG reported.

The attorney said that Mr Nichols was “defenceless” and a “human piñata,” questioning why officers in an unmarked vehicle were conducting a traffic stop.

Mr Nichols’s mother said the last time she saw her son, he was leaving to go watch the sunset at Shelby Farms Park, which he did on most weekends.

Noting that he was passionate about skateboarding, she said he was only two minutes away from her house when they murdered him,” according to WREG.

Skateboarder Kam Blakely skates in front of city hall in remembrance of Tyre Nichols


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