Five police officers charged with murder after ‘appalling’ arrest of African American

Five police officers charged with murder after appalling arrest of

These Memphis (Tennessee) police officers, all African-Americans, are facing several charges, including murder, assault and kidnapping, after the death of an African-American a few days after his early arrest. January.

Joe Biden called for calm on Thursday as protests mount around the fatal arrest in early January of Tire Nichols, 29, in Memphis, in the south of the country. ” As Americans mourn, the Justice Department investigates, and authorities continue their work, I join Tire’s family in calling for peaceful protest. Anger is understandable, but violence is never acceptable “, said the American president in a press release, also calling for a “ rapid, complete and transparent investigation on this drama.

The case dates back to January 7. The police – since dismissed – had wanted to arrest Tire Nichols for a traffic violation. As the officers approached, a ” confrontation had taken place ” and ” the suspect fled “, had explained the police. Caught up, Tire Nichols was finally arrested, but complained of having difficulty breathing and was hospitalized. He died three days later.

The details of this arrest are not yet clear: a video of the facts exists, but has so far only been shown to the relatives of the victim and their lawyers. According to them, “ the police beat him unrecognizable “. ” This is an outright, uninterrupted beating of this young man for three minutes “, declared Me Antonio Romanucci, one of the lawyers of the family.

The five licensed agents

During the press conference on Thursday, the authorities avoided describing precisely the course of events, referring to the images. But what happened was “ inadmissible ” and “ criminal ” and ” shouldn’t have happened “, hammered David Rausch, director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, saying to himself” shocked ” and ” disgusted by what he saw. ” In a word, it is absolutely appalling “, did he declare.

The internal police investigation had shown that the five officers charged had used excessive force. Other officers are still under investigation. The agents involved are directly responsible for the physical violence committed against Mr. Nichols Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis said Wednesday, saying it was ” not just a professional error, but a lack of humanity “.

The case finds a particular echo in a country still marked by the death of George Floyd, in May 2020, and the Black Lives Matter protests against racism and police violence that followed. And the drama has reignited the debate on police violence in the country. Prosecutor Steve Mulroy thus hoped that this case “ could allow for broader discussions on the need for police reform “.

(With AFP)