Five former Memphis, Tennessee police officers were charged with murder on Thursday for beating 29-year-old African-American man, Tire Nichols, to death after they stopped him on the street for a routine checkup. Nichols’ beating had taken place on January 7, and the man died three days later in hospital from the consequences of his injuries. The policemen, five black men all between the ages of 24 and 32, were fired a few days later by the Memphis police: they are accused of aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, misconduct and oppression in the role of officers, as well as “secondary” murder degree” (a crime that according to the laws of Tennessee is more or less comparable to our manslaughter, therefore less serious than voluntary manslaughter).
No details have yet been provided as to the reasons that led to Nichols’ beating. We only know that after he was stopped he started arguing with the officers, who sprayed him with pepper spray. Nichols had tried to escape on foot, but he had been overtaken and beaten in a place not far from where he had been stopped. The Memphis Police are expected to release video from police officers’ body-worn cameras today, Friday.
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