5 ex-officers charged with Tyre Nichols’ death plead not guilty

Published: Feb. 17, 2023 at 4:39 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 17, 2023 at 9:07 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The 5 former Memphis police officers charged with murdering Tyre Nichols appeared in court for the first time Friday morning.

All five are entering a not guilty plea.

Demetrius Haley, Emmett Martin III, Justin Smith, Desmond Mills Jr, and Tadarius Bean are all facing second-degree murder and several other charges. All are currently out on bond.

Following the pleas, the judge asked for everyone to be patient, noting that this case may take a long time to settle.

The former officers are set to appear in court again on May 1.

Attorneys for the former officers are urging the public to consider the facts of the case and not the emotions that many across America are feeling.

Attorney Ben Crump, who represents Nichols’ family, addressed rumors that have been circulating around the case, but said he’s just focused on getting justice for Tyre.

The hearing comes more than 5 weeks after Nichols died from his injuries sustained during a traffic stop involving these 5 former MPD officers.

The traffic stop happened on Raines and Ross Roads in Hickory Hill on January 7.

Memphis Police originally reported Nichols was pulled over for reckless driving at that intersection, Nichols ran, and there was another confrontation before he was detained.

MPD said Nichols complained of shortness of breath before taking him to nearby St. Francis Hospital where he would die three days later.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation was immediately called to investigate.

A grand jury later indicted the 5 former officers with the charges on Thursday, January 26.

Meanwhile, at least 12 other county officials are either on leave or out of a job following their involvement in the case.

No other person on the scene the night of January 7 has been charged.

Action News 5 will be in the courtroom and will have team coverage throughout the day.

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