Crime, safety expert dives into deadly Memphis police beating of Tyre Nichols

Nichols was pulled over on Jan. 7, died on Jan. 10

Protestors have been rallying to remember Tyre Nichols and are calling for justice after footage was released showing five Memphis police officers violently beating the 29-year-old during a traffic stop in early January.

There’s more to unpack with the fatal altercation, and Local 4′s crime and safety expert Darnell Blackburn spoke on how officers are trained to make arrests in these scenarios and his reaction as a former police officer.

Nichols was pulled over on the evening of Jan. 7 for allegedly driving recklessly. An altercation occurred between the 29-year-old and five Memphis police officers after the suspect reportedly fled the traffic stop on foot. After stating he couldn’t breathe, Nichols was taken to a local hospital and was reported to be in critical condition. Nichols died in the hospital a couple of days after he was admitted. According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Memphis police reported that Nichols succumbed to his injuries and that the officers involved were placed on routine leave after his death.

Timeline: Events that led up to Tyre Nichols arrest, death

According to WMC, an NBC affiliate out of Memphis, three of the five former officers are out of jail on a $250,000 bond. The two former officers that are still in jail have bonds set at $350,000.

Below are the charges that the five former officers are facing:

  • Official misconduct thru unauthorized exercise of official power
  • Official misconduct thru failure to perform a duty imposed by law
  • Official oppression
  • Second-degree murder
  • Aggravated assault - act in concert
  • Aggravated kidnapping causing bodily injury
  • Aggravated kidnapping while possessing a weapon

All five former officers are scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 17.

Below are remarks from Memphis’ chief of police Cerelyn Davis:

Below are remarks from Metro Detroit officials on the death of Nichols:

More coverage:

About the Authors:

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital News Editor and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.

Darnell Blackburn, a former police officer, is Local 4's Crime and Safety Expert and part of the on-air team of traffic reporters for the station's Timesaver Traffic segments weekdays from 4:30 to 8 a.m.