Tyre Nichols death: Memphis police release bodycam footage

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Police on Friday released videos showing the deadly police beating of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols, who died on Jan. 10, three days after he was stopped by police a short distance from his home in Memphis.

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Police Chief Cerelyn Davis earlier said five officers who “were found to be directly responsible” for Nichols’ abuse were fired after the attack. On Thursday, Tadarrius Bean, 24; Demetrius Haley, 30; Emmitt Martin III, 30; Desmond Mills, 32; and Justin Smith, 28; were booked into jail on several charges, including murder. On Friday, police released videos showing Nichols’ encounters with police on Jan. 7.

>> To see the unedited video released by the Memphis Police, click here. Warning the videos are graphic and contain profanity.

Warning: This story contains graphic details of a violent crime. Reader discretion is advised.

Memphis police SCORPION unit inactive, mayor says

Update 10:55 p.m. EST Jan. 27: The Memphis Police Department’s Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods, or SCORPION, unit remains inactive as local, state and federal officials investigate the police beating of Nichols, WHBQ-TV reported.

Five officers who were fired from the police department and later charged with crimes including murder in Nichols’ death were members of the SCORPION unit, according to the news station. On Friday, an attorney for Nichols’ family called for the unit to be disbanded, saying that it “has now been corrupted.”

“It is clear that these officers violated the department’s policies and training,” Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said in a statement obtained by WHBQ. “I want to assure you we are doing everything we can to prevent this from happening again. We are initiating an outside, independent review of the training, policies, and operations of our specialized units. Since this event happened, the SCORPION Unit has been and remains inactive.”

More than 20 minutes passed before stretcher arrived for Nichols after beating, video shows

Update 10:25 p.m. EST Jan. 27: Video shows officers beating Nichols for at least two minutes before they prop him up to sit against a police car and leave him to writhe on the ground for more than 20 minutes, occasionally propping him back up.

In videos released by police, Nichols can be seen getting kicked in the face as he’s on the ground. He’s beaten in the back with a baton before police pull him to standing. He’s punched in the face several times before going down again. Once he’s on the ground, he’s again kicked.

Officers drag him across the ground and prop him against a police car at 8:38 p.m., according to a timestamp on the recorded videos. A stretcher arrives about 22 minutes later, at 9 p.m. In the meantime, it did not appear as though Nichols got more than brief aid from officers, who milled around the scene after the beating.

Protesters, mourners gather in several cities after video release

Update 10 p.m. EST Jan. 27: Protesters took the streets in several cities across the country on Friday following the release of video showing the police beating of Nichols on Jan. 7.

In Memphis, people gathered to block traffic on Interstate 55.

Protests also gathered Boston, Seattle and other cities.

2 sheriff’s deputies on the scene of Nichols beating relieved from duty

Update 9:40 p.m. EST Jan. 27: Two Shelby County sheriff’s deputies who were on the scene Jan. 7 of the deadly police beating of Nichols have been relieved from duty, WHBQ-TV reported.

“Having watched the videotape for the first time tonight, I have concerns about two deputies who appeared on the scene following the physical confrontation between police and Tyre Nichols,” Sheriff Floyd Bonner Jr. said in a statement obtained by WHBQ.

“I have launched an internal investigation into the conduct of these deputies to determine what occurred and if any policies were violated. Both of these deputies have been relieved of duty pending the outcome of this administrative investigation.”

The deputies were not immediately identified.

Video shows initial confrontation between Nichols, police

Update 9:05 p.m. EST Jan. 27: A video released Friday night by authorities shows the initial police confrontation with Nichols on the night of Jan. 7.

Authorities said they pulled Nichols over on suspicion of reckless driving on Jan. 7, according to WHBQ-TV. However, Police Chief Cerelyn Davis told The Associated Press that investigators have been unable to find evidence to substantiate the allegation.

In one of the four videos released Friday, an officer can be seen with a gun drawn as he approaches other officers outside of the car Nichols was driving. Officers on either side of the car shout expletives and demand that Nichols get out of the vehicle. A short while later, one officer drags him out from the driver’s seat.

“I didn’t do anything,” Nichols can be heard saying.

Officers wrestle him to the ground while shouting profanities, threatening to Tase him and threatening to knock him out. The officer who arrived at the start of the video can be seen holding a Taser to Nichols’ leg.

“Stop,” the 29-year-old says at one point. “OK, you guys are really doing a lot right now. I’m just trying to go home.”

After a brief struggle, the video shows that Nichols manages to break free. He runs from police, who deploy pepper spray, and the officer holding the Taser gun fires. Officers begin to chase Nichols.

Separate video shows officers later catching up to the 29-year-old and beating him.

National Fraternal Order of Police president ‘appalled by the brutal assault on Tyre Nichols’

Update 8:15 p.m. EST Jan. 27: Patrick Yotes, national president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said in a statement Friday night that he was “appalled by the brutal assault on Tyre Nichols.”

“This event as described to us does not constitute legitimate police work or a traffic stop gone wrong,” he said. “This is a criminal assault under the pretext of law.”

Video released Friday night by Memphis police showed officers shouting at Nichols as one pulled him out of the car he was driving. Police wrestle him to the ground as he insists, “I didn’t do anything.” An officer threatens to Tase him and one threatens to knock him out.

He manages to break free from officers and runs. A separate video shows officers beating him.

“According to reports, the fact that none of those officers — NONE of them — acted to stop this vicious attack, only compounds my horror — it is sickening,” Yoes said Friday. “The men arrested and charged for this crime have rights, the presumption of innocence, and the due process protections of anyone accused of a crime. But the bottom line here is that Tyre Nichols, his family, and our entire country need to see justice done — swiftly and surely.”

President Biden releases statement on video

Update 7:35 p.m. EST Jan. 27: President Biden released a statement Friday evening following the release of the video of Tyre Nichols’ arrest.

Like so many, I was outraged and deeply pained to see the horrific video of the beating that resulted in Tyre Nichols’ death. It is yet another painful reminder of the profound fear and trauma, the pain, and the exhaustion that Black and Brown Americans experience every single day,” Biden said.

Biden said he spoke with RowVaughn Wells and Rodney Wells, Nichols’ mother and stepfather, earlier in the day Friday.

“My heart goes out to Tyre Nichols’ family and to Americans in Memphis and across the country who are grieving this tremendously painful loss. The footage that was released this evening will leave people justifiably outraged. Those who seek justice should not to resort to violence or destruction. Violence is never acceptable; it is illegal and destructive. I join Mr. Nichols’ family in calling for peaceful protest,” Biden said.

— Jessica Goodman, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Video of Tyre Nichols’ arrest released

Update 7:18 p.m. EST Jan. 27: Memphis Police Department has released the video of Tyre Nichols’ Jan. 7 arrest.

>> To see the unedited video released by the Memphis Police, click here. Warning the videos are graphic and contain profanity.

When the confrontation began, Nichols was in his car. Officers can be heard yelling at him to get out of his car. According to The New York Times, an officer can be seen opening the car, reaching in, and pulling Nichols out. Nichols can be heard saying, “I didn’t do anything.”

In the surveillance video, multiple offers can be seen beating Nichols with a baton while showing no signs of resisting arrest or fighting back, according to the Times.

Once Nichols tries to stand up, a few seconds later an officer appears to hit him a few times as another officer holds his hands back, according to the newspaper.

In one of the videos, Nichols is on the ground with multiple officers around him. He can be heard screaming “Mom, mom, mom,” The Times reported. His mother, according to attorneys, lives about 100 yards away from where he was on the ground.

— Jessica Goodman, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Funeral arrangements announced for Tyre Nichols

Update 4:57 p.m. EST Jan. 27: Nichols is expected to be laid to rest on Wednesday, Feb. 1, according to CNN.

The Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis is where the funeral is expected to take place at 10:30 a.m. CT (11:30 a.m. EST), according to a news release obtained by CNN. Rev. Al Sharpton is expected to eulogize Nichols.

The service is expected to be live-streamed on the church’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

— Jessica Goodman, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Memphis Fire Department gets access to police video

Update 3:55 p.m. EST Jan. 27: Officials with the Memphis Fire Department said in a statement Friday that they got access to police video of the Jan. 7 encounter between officers and Nichols.

The department’s public information officer, Qwanesha Ward, told CNN that two members of the department have been placed on administrative leave “pending the outcome of the investigation.”

Who was Tyre Nichols?

Update 2:15 p.m. EST Jan. 27: Family members have described Nichols as a long-time skateboarder, hard worker and father who was on his way home from a Memphis park when he was stopped and beaten by police a short distance from his home.

He worked at FedEx with his stepfather, Rodney Wells. The two took their lunch breaks together at their home every day, his mother, RowVaughn Wells, said.

“My son, he came here right before the pandemic. He got stuck here because you know, we shut the world down. But he was OK with it because you know why? Because he was with his mother,” she said Monday at a news conference. “

“My son loved me to death, and I know that was a bad word but that’s how he felt. He had my name tattooed in his arm, and that made me proud because most kids don’t put their mom’s name (on their arm) but he did. My son was a beautiful soul, and he touched everyone.”

Nichols’ mother urges people not to let their children see video of police encounter

Update 1:55 p.m. EST Jan. 27: Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells, on Friday said that she hasn’t seen the police-recorded video of her son’s Jan. 7 confrontation with officers.

“(From) what I’ve heard, it’s very horrific. Very horrific,” she said at a news conference. “And any of you who have children, please don’t let them see it.”

Family attorney Ben Crump, who viewed the video alongside other attorneys and family members on Monday, said that Nichols’ used his last words to call for his mother.

“His last words on this Earth is, ‘Mom, mom, mom,’” he said. “I mean, he’s screaming for her.”

Wells said that she felt a bad pain in her stomach on the night of Jan. 7 which she later attributed to feeling her son’s pain.

“I was only (feet) away, did not even hear him,” she said. “You have no clue how I feel right now. No clue.”

Nichols attorney calls for disbandment of Memphis police SCORPION unit and others nationwide

Update 1:05 p.m. EST Jan. 27: Nichols family attorney Antonio Romanucci on Friday called for Chief Cerelyn Davis to disband the department’s SCORPION unit, saying that while its intent was good, “the end result was a failure.”

“We must recognize that and do something about it,” he said. “I call on all chiefs in this country to review their saturation units, to review their special squad units, because they can easily become corrupted when they are told — they are whispered in their ear — act with impunity.”

Davis created the Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods Unit, known as the SCORPION unit, in October 2021 with the goal of addressing violent crimes throughout the city, according to officials. The unit includes 40 officers who work in 10-man teams.

“The intent of the SCORPION unit has now been corrupted,” Romanucci said at a news conference on Friday. “It cannot be brought back to center with any sense of morality and dignity and most importantly trust in this community.”

Nichols’ death part of a ‘pattern and practice’ created by unchecked police culture, attorney says

Update 12:50 p.m. EST Jan. 27: Lawyer Ben Crump said that it was “foreseeable that something tragic like this was going to happen when you have police officers given ... not just immunity, but impunity to trample on the constitutional rights of people who look a certain color, who live in a certain community.”

“We believe that this was a pattern and practice, and Tyre is dead because that pattern and practice went unchecked by the people who were supposed to check that,” he said.

Crump, who spoke at a news conference with Nichols’ family, praised Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis but added that “we agree with her when she says policy means nothing if you have a culture — if that culture is rotten.”

Attorney for Nichols family praises authorities for quickly filing charges against officers

Update 12:30 p.m. EST Jan. 27: Ben Crump, an attorney for the Nichols family, praised authorities for bringing charges against five officers in the 29-year-old’s death.

“When we look at how these five Black officers who were caught on camera committing a crime, and when we look at how fast the police chief and the police department terminated them, and we look at how swiftly the district attorney brought charges against them — in less than 20 days — then we want to proclaim that this is the blueprint going forward for any time any officers, whether they be black or white, will be held accountable,” he said during a news conference Friday with Nichols’ family.

“No longer can you tell us we (have) to wait six months to a year, even though we’ve got a video with evidence of the excessive force and the crime.”

Fifth former officer charged with murder released from jail on bond

Update 11:40 a.m. EST Jan. 27: The last former police officer who remained jailed Friday after being charged with murder and other charges in the death of Nichols has been released on bond, WHBQ reported.

Demetrius Haley was the last officer released, according to the news station. His bond had been set at $350,000, jail records show.

Earlier, Emmitt Martin III, who also had a bond of $350,000 was released. Also released were Tadarrius Bean, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith, who each had bonds set at $250,000, according to WHBQ.

FBI director says he was ‘appalled’ after viewing Nichols video

Update 11:35 a.m. EST Jan. 27: FBI Director Christopher Wray said at a news conference Friday that he has seen video of the deadly police encounter with Nichols from earlier this month.

“What happened in Memphis is obviously tragic,” he said. “I have seen the video myself and I will tell you, I was appalled. I’m struggling to find a stronger word, but I will just tell you that I was appalled.”

Federal authorities have launched a federal investigation into whether police violated Nichols’ civil rights during the Jan. 7 encounter. State and local officials are also investigating.

AG Garland: Video of confrontation between Nichols, police ‘deeply disturbing’

Update 11:25 a.m. EST Jan. 27: U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said Friday that he has been briefed on the video recorded by police that shows the deadly encounter between officers and Nichols earlier this month.

“I have not seen the video but I have been briefed on that video,” he said at a news conference. “It is deeply disturbing — I would say horrific, from the descriptions I’ve been given.”

Attorneys for the Nichols family, who viewed the video on Monday, have said that authorities beat the 29-year-old nonstop for three minutes. Lawyer Antonio Romanucci said the footage showed that Nichols was “a human pinata for those police officers.”

Officials are expected to release the video Friday night. Family members and authorities, including Garland, have urged people to be peaceful amid expected protests.

Nichols’ mother calls for peaceful protests

Update 10:10 a.m. EST Jan. 27: During a candlelight vigil Thursday at a Memphis skate park, Nichols’ mother urged people to remain peaceful as the city prepares for the release of video showing the police beating of her son, WHBQ reported.

“When that tape comes out tomorrow, it’s going to be horrific,” RowVaughn Wells said, according to WHBQ. “I want each and every one of you to protest in peace. I don’t want us burning up our cities, tearing up the streets because that’s not what my son stood for. If you are here for me and Tyre, you will protest peacefully.”

Wells said she hadn’t watched the video, which family members viewed on Monday. At a news conference afterward, family members remembered Nichols as a hard worker who loved to skateboard and take pictures.

“My son didn’t deserve what he got,” Nichol’s stepfather, Rodney Wells, said as he also called for peaceful protests on Monday, according to WHBQ. “My son deserves justice.”

Officials are expected to release video of the confrontation between Nichols and police after 6 p.m. local time Friday.

4 of 5 former officers posted bond

Update 7:49 a.m. EST Jan 27: WHBQ reported that four of the five former officers have been released from jail after posting bond. Demetrius Haley and Emmitt Martin III each had their bonds set at $350,000. Tadarrius Bean, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith had their bonds set at $250,000.

Mills and Smith posted bond Thursday evening, while Martin and Bean were released early Friday morning, Fox News reported.

Haley did not post his bond as of Friday morning and was still in jail.

— Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Memphis school district cancels Friday after-school events

Update 10:10 p.m. EST Jan. 26: In anticipation of Friday evening’s release of a video showing the arrest of Tyre Nichols, the Memphis Shelby County Schools announced that all Friday after-school activities and events were canceled.

School officials announced the decision in a tweet.

“In the interest of public safety, on Friday, January 27, all after-school activities, including Y-care and athletic events, will be canceled,” the post stated.

The video is scheduled to be released sometime after 7 p.m. EST.

— Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Former officer Justin Smith posts $250K bail

Update 9:33 p.m. EST Jan. 26: A second former Memphis police officer bonded out of jail after being charged in connection to the death of Tyre Nichols.

Justin Smith posted bail for $250,000 on Thursday night, according to Shelby County online jail records.

Smith’s release came after Desmond Mills Jr., another former officer charged in the case, posted $250,000 bond.

The three other indicted former officers Emmitt Martin, Tadarrius Bean and Demetrius Haley remained in jail on Thursday night, according to CNN.

— Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Biden: Nichols’ family deserves ‘swift’ investigation

Update 7:41 p.m. EST Jan. 26: In a statement released Thursday, President Joe Biden said that the family of Tyre Nichols “deserves a swift, full, and transparent investigation into his death.”

“Tyre’s family deserves a swift, full, and transparent investigation into his death,” Biden said. “Public trust is the foundation of public safety and there are still too many places in America today where the bonds of trust are frayed or broken. Tyre’s death is a painful reminder that we must do more to ensure that our criminal justice system lives up to the promise of fair and impartial justice, equal treatment, and dignity for all.

“To deliver real change, we must have accountability when law enforcement officers violate their oaths, and we need to build lasting trust between law enforcement, the vast majority of whom wear the badge honorably, and the communities they are sworn to serve and protect.”

— Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Former Memphis police officer Desmond Mills posts $250K bail

Updated 7:36 p.m. EST Jan. 26: Desmond Mills Jr., one of the five former officers charged with second-degree murder in the death of Tyre Nichols, posted $250,000 bail and was released from jail on Thursday night, according to Shelby County online jail records.

The other four officers had not yet posted bail, according to CNN.

— Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Tennessee governor: ‘Cruel, criminal abuse of power will not be tolerated’

Update 7:06 p.m. EST Jan. 26: In a statement, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee offered his sympathies to Tyre Nichols’ and promised in a statement that “cruel, criminal abuse of power will not be tolerated in the state.”

“These individuals do not represent the honorable men & women of law enforcement, & they must be brought to justice for this tragic loss of life,” Lee tweeted. “The City of Memphis & the Memphis Police Department need to take a hard look at the misconduct & failure that has occurred within this unit. I discussed this with Mayor Strickland & am pleased the city is pursuing an external, impartial investigation.”

— Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Memphis mayor calls officers’ actions ‘awful’

Update 6:16 p.m. EST Jan. 26: Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland spoke about the Tyre Nichols case and the indictment of five former police officers.

“The actions of these officers were awful,” Strickland said in a video released on social media by the City of Memphis. “And no one -- including law enforcement -- is above the law.

“I assure you we will do everything we can to keep this type of heinous act from happening again.”

— Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Attorneys for former officers Mills, Martin speak

Update 5:09 p.m. EST Jan. 26: Attorneys for two of the five former officers indicted on murder charges in the death of Tyre Nichols said their clients were devastated but were ready to follow through on the legal process.

“We are in the dark about many things, just like the general public is,” Blake Ballin, the attorney for former Memphis police officer Desmond Mills Jr., said during a news conference late Thursday afternoon. But “to be accused of being involved in the death of another is devastating.”

Ballin and William Massey, who is representing former officer Emmitt Martin, said they have not seen the video that showed the confrontation between five Memphis police officers and Nichols. The video will be released on Friday evening, Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy said.

“The state and the TBI evidently have the answers right now that you want to know the answers to,” Massey told reporters. “We’re without information to answer the questions.”

“I object to the characterization of clueless,” Ballin joked. “But you know, obviously, we have begun to think about potential defenses.

Ballin said his client “could not be more upset about this entire situation.”

He added that Mills is in the process of posting bail of $250,000 and plans to enter a plea of not guilty in court.

“We are at the very beginning of what will be a long process,” Ballin said.

— Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Nichols family attorneys: ‘This tragedy meets the absolute definition of a needless and unnecessary death’

Update 3:55 p.m. EST Jan. 16: Attorneys representing Nichols’ family said in a statement Thursday that the 29-year-old’ “lost his life in a particularly disgusting manner that points to the desperate need for change and reform to ensure that this violence stops occurring during low-threat procedures, like in this case, a traffic stop.”

“This tragedy meets the absolute definition of a needless and unnecessary death,” the statement from attorney Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci read. “Tyre’s loved ones’ lives were forever changed when he was beaten to death, and we will keep saying his name until justice is served.”

Video of police encounter with Nichols ‘absolutely appalling,’ TBI director says

Update 3:45 p.m. EST Jan. 16: The director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation called video of the confrontation between police and Nichols on Jan. 7 “in a word ... absolutely appalling.”

“I’ve been policing for more than 30 years. I’ve devoted my life to this profession and I am grieved — frankly, I’m shocked, I’m sickened by what I saw and what we’ve learned through our extensive and thorough investigation,” he said.

“Let me be clear: What happened here does not at all reflect proper policing. This was wrong. This was criminal.”

Officials are expected to release redacted video of the deadly encounter after 6 p.m. local time on Friday.

DA says a ‘period of time’ passed before ambulance came for Nichols

Update 3:40 p.m. EST Jan. 16: Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy said that “some period of time of waiting around” passed after police officers injured Nichols before an ambulance took him away from the scene.

He declined to say whether officers delayed getting Nichols medical attention.

“There was an elapsed period of time but I believe if you watch the video, you’ll be able to make that judgment for yourself,” he said.

The district attorney said Nichols was pepper sprayed following an altercation with several officers during a traffic stop. Nichols ran, he said. At a nearby location, another altercation took place during “which the serious injuries were experienced by Mr. Nichols.”

Nichols family attorneys previously said that the 29-year-old was Tased, pepper-sprayed, handcuffed and kicked, according to WHBQ. Attorney Ben Crump compared video of the encounter to footage of the 1991 police beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles, calling it “very troublesome on every level,” the news station reported.

Police video of encounter between officers, Nichols to be released Friday

Update 3:15 p.m. EST Jan. 26: City officials plan to release police video of the confrontation between five Memphis police officers and Nichols on Friday evening, Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy said.

At a news conference Thursday, Mulroy acknowledged “that the public is very concerned about whether they can see the video about this incident and the timing of the release of… the video of this incident.”

“I can tell you that the city will be releasing the video sometime after 6 p.m. Friday, tomorrow, and that the City of Memphis should be making a statement somewhat later on this afternoon regarding the timing of that release,” he said.

DA: Officers actions ‘resulted in the death of Tyre Nichols’

Update 3:10 p.m. EST Jan. 26: Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy named the charges filed against the five officers booked into jail in connection with Nichols’ death.

Tadarrius Bean, 24; Demetrius Haley, 30; Emmitt Martin III, 30; Desmond Mills, 32; and Justin Smith, 28; were charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping resulting in bodily injury, aggravated kidnapping involving possession of a weapon, official misconduct through unauthorized exercise of power, official misconduct through a failure to act when there is a duty imposed by a law and official oppression.

“While each of the five individuals played a different role in the incident in question, the actions of all of them resulted in the death of Tyre Nichols and they are all responsible,” Mulroy said.

Officers charged with murder, kidnapping, assault

Update 1:20 p.m. EST Jan. 26: The officers charged Thursday following Nichols’ death earlier this month face charges of second-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, official misconduct and official oppression, according to records from Shelby County Jail.

5 officers booked into Shelby County Jail

Update 12:50 p.m. EST Jan. 26: Five police officers who were fired last week after violating department policy in the death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols have been booked into jail, WHBQ reported.

Tadarrius Bean, 24; Demetrius Haley, 30; Emmitt Martin III, 30; Desmond Mills, 32; and Justin Smith, 28; were booked into jail Thursday, records show. Charges were not immediately available for most of the former officers. Smith was booked on charges including second-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault and official misconduct.

Police Chief Cerelyn Davis said Wednesday night that the fired officers “were found to be directly responsible” for Nichols’ abuse. Earlier, authorities said they were determined to have “violated multiple department policies, including excessive use of force, duty to intervene, and duty to render aid.”

At least two former officers retain attorneys

Update 12:40 p.m. EST Jan. 26: At least two of the former police officers who were fired following Nichols’ death earlier this month have gotten legal representation, WHBQ reported.

Attorney William “Bill” Massey is representing Emmitt Martin III while Blake Ballin is representing Desmond Mills Jr., according to the news station.

The officers are among five who were fired Friday, more than a week after Nichols’ death. Also fired were Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley and Justin Smith.

Emmitt Martin III surrenders to face charges, report says

Update 12:20 p.m. EST Jan. 26: William Massey, an attorney representing former Officer Emmitt Martin III, told CNN that his client has surrendered. He said he did not yet know the nature of the charges against Martin.

Earlier, WHBQ-TV reported that a grand jury had met in Shelby County. District Attorney Steve Mulroy is expected to share more information at a news conference at 2 p.m. local time, the news station reported.

Original report: Police Chief Cerelyn Davis said Wednesday night that five officers fired from the Memphis Police Department following the death of Tyre Nichols “were found to be directly responsible” for his abuse.

Last week, police fired five officers following an internal investigation into Nichols’ death. Officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith were determined to have “violated multiple department policies, including excessive use of force, duty to intervene, and duty to render aid,” authorities said.

“Concurrent with the investigation, other MPD officers are still under investigation for department policy violations,” Davis said Wednesday, without elaborating on the specific violations. “Some infractions are less egregious than others.”

Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy is expected to provide an update Thursday afternoon in the investigation into the 29-year-old’s death, WHBQ-TV reported.

A grand jury met on Thursday morning, the news station reported. It was not immediately clear whether they would return indictments against any of the officers involved in the confrontations preceding Nichols’ death.

Citing unidentified sources, WHBQ reported that at least two of the fired officers planned to turn themselves in to police if they are indicted. The news station did not identify the officers.

An independent autopsy found that Nichols died from “extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating,” WHBQ reported.

After viewing police-recorded videos of the confrontation between Nichols and police, family attorneys said that the 29-year-old was Tased, pepper-sprayed, handcuffed and kicked, according to the news station. Attorney Antonio Romanucci described Nichols as “a human pinata for those police officers” and said they bet him “nonstop … for three minutes,” WHBQ reported.

Nichols’ mother said that he was two minutes away from home when he was stopped by police. She accused officers of having murdered her son, according to WHBQ.

“When I walked into that hospital room my son was already dead,” RowVaughn Wells said. “The (hospital), they put him on a breathing machine just for my satisfaction, I guess. But my son died on Jan. 7. The doctors pulled the plug on Jan. 10.”

Authorities have said that they plan to release the video to the public, though it was not immediately clear when the release would happen.

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