Tyre Nichols’ Death: All 5 Former Officers Charged With Murder, Bond Out Of Jail
On Jan. 7, 2023, Nichols had two different confrontations with Memphis Police officers during a traffic stop, leading Nichols to complain of shortness of breath and be taken to a Memphis hospital, according to the Memphis Police Department (MPD).
Nichols died at that hospital Jan. 10.
Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith all were fired Jan. 20, 2023, following an MPD internal employment investigation into their confrontation with Nichols.
During a news conference Thursday afternoon, Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy said footage of Nichols’ arrest will be released sometime after 6 p.m. Friday.
Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy explained those charges to FOX13′s Jeremy Pierre in a one-on-one interview.
“Kidnapping under Tennessee law is any confident of a person against their will which substantially interferes with their liberty,” Mulroy said. “It is our contention that whatever the legality of the initial stop, at a certain point Mr. Nichols was unlawfully detained by the police officers. It’s aggravated kidnapping under the law because it resulted in bodily injury and separately because the persons involved in the forcible detention that was unlawful possessed weapons at the time. So, there are two different counts of aggravated kidnapping based on that theory.”
All of the former officers had been booked into Shelby County Jail as of 1 p.m. on Thursday, January 26.
As of 10:30 p.m. on Friday, January 27, all of the five former officers had bonded out of Shelby County Jail, court records show.
Bond for Haley and Martin was set at $350,000 and bond for Bean, Mills and Smith was set at $250,000.
In an interview on FOX13′s Good Morning Memphis on Jan. 24, Mulroy said, “I can’t stress this enough. We are moving as quickly as we can on this case. We understand that it’s in the public interest for us to get to the next stage of this case as soon as possible. Just stay tuned and be patient,”
The day after Nichols’ confrontation with officers, Mulroy asked the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) to investigate the use of force by those now-former Memphis Police officers.
The TBI said the first encounter between Nichols and the five former officers happened at about 8:22 p.m. during a traffic stop at the intersection of Raines and Ross Roads.
A physical altercation ensued and Nichols ran, the TBI said. A second encounter then took place near Castlegate Lane and Bear Creek Cove. That encounter ended with Nichols sustaining critical injuring, according to the TBI.
Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis told FOX13′s Valerie Calhoun that her department has looked at multiple videos taken prior to the physical confrontation between Nichols and officers and had not found “anything to substantiate” the reasons for that traffic stop.
Davis also compared the video of that confrontation between Nichols and officers as bad as the Rodney King video if not worse.
Attorney Blake Ballin confirmed to FOX13 that he was retained by Mills.
FOX13 also confirmed that Martin, the former MPD officer, retained attorney Bill Massey to represent him.
Both attorneys held a news conference Thursday and said their clients plan to plead not guilty to the charges in their cases.
They said they have spent the week getting to know their clients and they are thinking about potential defenses.
Ballin described former officer Mills as a gentle and respectful father. He said Mills couldn’t be more upset about the entire situation.
When asked about former officer Martin, Massey said no one intended for Nichols to die that night.
Both attorneys said they haven’t seen video of the altercation between the officers and Nichols yet.
They say they are anticipating that release along with everyone else.
He reminded everyone that a person is innocent until proven guilty.
FOX13 also learned that in 2016 a federal civil rights complaint was filed against Haley, claiming that Haley and other officers strip-searched an inmate at the penal farm and beat that inmate until he blacked out.
That lawsuit was later dropped.
Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis released a video just before 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25, saying that “these officers were found to be directly responsible for the physical abuse of Mr. Nichols.”
Davis also said that other officers are under investigation related to the confrontation with Nichols.
A federal civil rights investigation into those officers’ actions is underway.
On Thursday, TBI said bonds set for Haley and Martin were at $350,000 while Bean, Mills, and Smith were at $250,000 each.
According to court records, two of the five former officers — Mills and Smith — bonded out.
Also on Thursday, David Rausch, director of the TBI, said what happened in Nichols’ arrest was “criminal” and “not at all proper policing.”
A candlelight vigil in Nichols’ honor was held Thursday night at Tobey Skate Park in Memphis, where his family called for peaceful protests ahead of his arrest footage being released for Friday evening.