Five Officers Charged With Murder in Memphis Police Killing of Unarmed Citizen

Tyre Nichols, 29

Five Memphis police officers were charged on Thursday with second-degree murder for the death of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man, after a traffic stop that escalated into what the authorities have described as a display of staggering brutality….

“The actions of all of them resulted in the death of Tyre Nichols, and they are all responsible,” Steven J. Mulroy, the district attorney for Memphis, told reporters on Thursday….

The charges grew out of an unusually fast-moving state investigation that revealed that the officers — who were part of a specialized unit patrolling high-crime areas of the city — had used a level of force that was beyond excessive, officials said. A separate federal civil rights investigation is also underway.

Mr. Nichols was stopped on the evening of Jan. 7 near the southeastern corner of the city. The officers who stopped him were part of a group of specialized officers known as the Scorpion Unit, which was created in 2021 to work in neighborhoods where crime and violence have been pervasive.

The police, in an initial statement, said that a “confrontation occurred” as the officers approached Mr. Nichols’s vehicle, and he ran away. There was then “another confrontation” as officers arrested him, the statement said. Mr. Nichols complained of shortness of breath, and an ambulance was called to take him to a hospital, officials said.

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