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5 Memphis Police officers plead not guilty to Tyre Nichols murder charges

Tyre Nichols
Posted at 8:20 AM, Feb 17, 2023

Former Memphis Police officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr. and Justin Smith all pleaded not guilty on Friday on second-degree murder charges following last month's death of Tyre Nichols.

They were fired and charged with second-degree murder and other crimes.

Nichols died three days after he was confronted by a group of Memphis Police officers following a traffic stop on Jan. 7.

The five officers faced a Tennessee judge on Friday for their arraignment.

Video of the incident prompted nationwide protests and calls for police reform. In four different clips, officers are seen spraying Nichols with what appears to be pepper spray, beating him with a baton and kicking him in the head.

Nichols remained on the ground for about 25 minutes without police or medical personnel addressing his injuries.

Nichols' face was beaten and bloodied.

Two additional deputies and two Memphis Police officers were disciplined by their departments, but not criminally charged.