(ConservativeSense.com) – The five former Memphis police officers charged with murdering Tyre Nichols have pleaded not guilty to their charges on Friday during a court hearing.
Emmitt Martin III, Tadarrius Bean, Desmond Mills Jr, Demetrius Haley, and Justin Smith were all charged with second-degree murder and other charges related to the Jan. 7 arrest and death of Tyre Nichols three days later in the hospital. After an internal investigation, the five officers were fired.
Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells, said the five men wouldn’t dare even look her in the eyes when they pleaded not guilty. During the news conference following the hearing, she added that the former officers will “see me at every court date… until we get justice for me son.” She described what she’s going through as a “nightmare.”
The brutal beating of Nichols was caught on video. When it was released a few weeks after the incident, protests erupted around the country. A few broke out in New York City, including in Times Square where three were arrested – one woman for defacing a police car with graffiti; another woman for punching a cop in the nose and another in the head; and a man who jumped onto a police car and stomped on the windshield.
The death of Nichols is the latest incident prompting a nationwide discussion about police brutality as well as racial issues, the most prominent being the death of George Floyd which sparked a violent uprising across the country in the summer of 2020. Although the two incidents may seem similar, many commentators have noted that all five officers who beat up Nichols were also black along with Nichols himself, yet this didn’t stop others from blaming racism.
The officers were hit with five charges: second-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, official oppression, and official misconduct. All of them pleaded not guilty to the charges and are currently out on bond with their next court hearing scheduled for May 1.
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