Five US police officers charged with murder over fatal beating of black man

Five US police officers working in the state of Tennessee are charged with second-degree murder over fatally beating a black man.

The officers were found to have beaten 29 year old Tyre Nichols, during a traffic stop on January 7, in which they pulled him over for reckless driving.

According to The Straits Times, Nichols’ family attorney, Ben Crump, says police beat him to the point of being unrecognisable.

The Memphis Police Department fired all five officers after an internal investigation found them to have “violated multiple department policies, including excessive use of force, duty to intervene and duty to render aid.”

Nichols was transported to the hospital after the beating in critical condition and died on January 10. The Memphis Police Chief commented on the situation.

“These officers were found to be directly responsible for the physical abuse of Mr Nichols. This is not just a professional failing, this is a failing of basic humanity towards another individual. This incident was heinous, reckless and inhumane.”

Officials say a video of the beating exists and will be released sometime after 6pm Central time on Friday.

Family lawyers who watched the clip say they had seen “with our own eyes the disgusting way in which he lost his life at the hands of the Memphis police.”

They added that the beating of Nichols “points to the desperate need for change and reform to ensure this violence stops occurring during low-threat procedures, like in this case, a traffic stop.”

The five officers arrested were black, which has been a unique aspect of the case as many white police officers have been the subjects of racial discrimination against black people.

The officers arrested are Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Justin Smith, Desmond Mills Jr, and Emmitt Martin III. They were also charged with aggravated assault and aggravated kidnapping.

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Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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