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Former Memphis police officers charged with murder in connection with Tyre Nichols’ death


(MEMPHIS, Tenn.) — The five Memphis police officers who were fired in connection with the death of Tyre Nichols after a traffic stop on Jan. 7 have each been charged with murder and are in custody Thursday, according to Shelby County, Tennessee, jail records.

Memphis police identified the officers last week as Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith. All five have been booked into jail.

There has been no official announcement of charges against the officers, but jail records for the officers show they’ve each been booked on several felonies, including second-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated assault.

The Shelby County District Attorney’s Office has announced a 2 p.m. local time press conference.

Nichols, 29, was stopped by police on Jan. 7 for alleged reckless driving. Nichols allegedly ran away when approached, causing the officers to chase him and ultimately apprehend him, police said. Nichols was hospitalized in critical condition after complaining of shortness of breath during the arrest and died three days later, police allege.

Nichols’ family and his lawyers, Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci, viewed the body camera footage of the arrest on Monday, with Crump calling it “appalling,” “deplorable,” “heinous,” “violent” and “troublesome on every level.”

“What he was in that was defenseless the entire time,” Romanucci said Monday. “He was a human piñata for those police officers. It was unadulterated, unabashed, nonstop beating of this young boy for three minutes.”

A preliminary independent autopsy commissioned by the family showed Nichols suffered “extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating,” according to a statement from Crump and Romanucci.

City and police officials in Memphis have spent the last week working with community and civic groups, as well as police and local officials in other cities, in the hopes of keeping expected protests civil and nonviolent, law enforcement sources told ABC News.

During confidential calls over the last week, Memphis police leaders told colleagues in other cities and community leaders in Tennessee that they planned to release video recordings of the encounter as soon as they could and that the police conduct recorded was difficult to watch and would quickly be compared with the Los Angeles Police Department beating of Rodney King in 1991.

Police also anticipated criminal charges and they and community leaders hoped that such charges could demonstrate to the public that law enforcement agencies were taking the situation seriously.

The incident also continues to be investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice.

ABC News’ Armando Garcia and Whitney Lloyd contributed to this report.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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