Ex-cops plead not responsible to homicide in Tire Nichols dying

On Friday, the five former Memphis Police Department officers charged in the death of Tire Nichols, a 29-year-old black man who died days after he was beaten by police in January, pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and other charges, AP News reported.

The former officers also faced charges of aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official suppression in Shelby County Criminal Court.

Present at the arraignment hearing were Nichols’ mother, stepfather and her civil rights attorney, as well as the judge, who warned that the case could take time and asked officers to cooperate with their attorneys and be patient. The department fired the officers after an internal investigation found they violated department guidelines during the stop.

Tire Nichols was struck down in a traffic stop and died days later

So far, as part of its ongoing investigation into Nichols’ death, the department has exonerated a total of seven officers involved in the traffic delay and officially fired six officers. Shelby County Assistant District Attorney Paul Hagerman said the investigation is ongoing and additional charges could be filed.

Footage from the stop containing graphic, violent content showed at least five officers kicking and punching Nichols or hitting him with a baton, forcing him to the ground for at least three minutes. Late last month, Memphis released at least some footage from the stop. In the clips, Nichols can be heard pleading for his mother while officers ignore his pleas to stop it.

Tire Nichols’ mother reacts to Memphis officials’ plea of ​​not guilty

Tires nicholas‘ replies mother RowVaughn Wells after all five former Memphis police officers pleaded not guilty on Friday.

“I know my son is gone. I know I will never see him again, but we must begin this justice process now.”

“I know my son is gone. I know I will never see him again, but we must begin this justice process now.”

Tire Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells, responds after all five former Memphis cops pleaded not guilty Friday: https://t.co/Byfvu9GjuE pic.twitter.com/0ug9djaDdj

— The Associated Press (@AP) February 17, 2023

The department initially said officers pulled Nichols over for reckless driving, but later said it could not back up its earlier claim after reviewing the footage. According to lawyers for his family, Nichols died in hospital on January 10, three days after the beating. An official cause of Nichols’ death was not released by the Shelby County Medical Examiner.

The defendants, who are out on bail, will have another hearing on May 1. The investigation is ongoing, and prosecutors are committed to ensuring everyone involved in the crime is brought to justice in this case, Hagerman said.

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