The five fired Memphis Police Department (MPD) officers accused of murdering Tyre Nichols were formally indicted Tuesday on federal crimes in addition to the existing state charges for beating the 29-year-old unarmed Black motorist to death earlier this year.
The Justice Department announced that Tadarrius Bean, Desmond Mills, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin and Justin Smith are now each facing four federal counts of willfully depriving Nichols of his constitutional rights, violating Nichols’ right to be free from a law enforcement officer’s deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs, conspiring to cover up their use of unlawful force by omitting material information and by providing false and misleading information to their supervisor and to others and committing an obstruction offense by intentionally omitting material information, and providing false and misleading information, to two MPD officers tasked with writing MPD reports about the arrest of Nichols.
“These federal charges reflect the Justice Department’s unwavering commitment to protecting the constitutional and civil rights of every American and preserving the integrity of the criminal justice system,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said in a statement. “
“We stand ready to hold law enforcement officers accountable for their misconduct because no one is above the law in our country.”