MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A federal grand jury on Tuesday indicted five former Memphis police officers on charges related to the deadly beating of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols.
Nichols died Jan. 10, three days after video showed officers beating him after a traffic stop a short distance from his family’s house in Memphis.
Emmitt Martin III, Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith face four federal charges, including deprivation of rights and witness tampering, court records show.
In the indictment made public on Tuesday, authorities said the former officers “unlawfully assaulted Nichols and willfully failed to intervene in the unlawful assault,” causing Nichols’ death.
They also “willfully disregarded” Nichols’ need for medical attention following the beating and later made false and misleading statements to other members of the Memphis Police Department to cover their wrongdoing, according to the indictment.
Attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci, who represent Nichols’ family, said in joint statement that the new indictment “gives his family hope as they continue to grieve his loss and inspire change in his honor.”
Officers stopped Nichols on Jan. 7, allegedly on suspicion of reckless driving. Video released by police showed officers beating him just blocks from his family’s home in Memphis before leaving him propped up against a police car without medical care for about 20 minutes.
A subsequent autopsy showed he died of blunt force injuries to the head.
Martin, Bean, Haley, Mills and Smith were subsequently fired from the Memphis Police Department and charged with murder in Nichols’ death. They pleaded not guilty to state charges in February.
The beating prompted the Justice Department to announce plans to review the police department’s policies and procedures. A federal investigation into the incident remains ongoing.