Tyre Nichols death: Federal judge sets May trial date for 5 former Memphis officers

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A federal judge Thursday set a trial date for May for the five former Memphis police officers on charges related to the deadly beating of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols.

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U.S. District Judge Mark S. Norris set the trial date for Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin, Desmond Mills and Justin Smith for May 6 during the hearing, according to The Associated Press.

The five former officers were indicted by a federal grand jury on Sept. 13. The charges include using excessive force and conspiring to lie regarding the beating of Nichols on Jan. 7, according to the AP.

The five were part of a team created to suppress crime in Memphis called the Scorpion unit, the AP reported. The unit has been disbanded and other members of the unit were moved to other units.

Nichols died Jan. 10, three days after a video showed officers beating him after a traffic stop a short distance from his family’s house in Memphis.

The judge also ruled that the former officers did not have to participate in the civil case that Nichols’ mother RowVaughn Wells filed against them until their criminal cases are “resolved,” according to WHBQ.

The civil case asking for $550 million was filed by Wells against the City of Memphis, the Memphis Police Department, Memphis Police Department’s Chief C.J. Davis, the five former officers , the three Memphis Fire Department employees who have since been fired and a former Memphis Police Department Lt. Dewayne Smith, who has since retired, according to the news outlet.

In the indictment made public on Tuesday, authorities said the former officers “unlawfully assaulted Nichols and willfully failed to intervene in the unlawful assault,” causing Nichols’ death.

They also “willfully disregarded” Nichols’ need for medical attention following the beating and later made false and misleading statements to other members of the Memphis Police Department to cover their wrongdoing, according to the indictment.

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