The death of a black man after a traffic stop in the US state of Tennessee now has legal consequences for the five police officers involved after their release. The men - also black - were charged with second-degree murder and other felonies Thursday (local time), District Attorney Steve Mulroy said at a news conference.
29-year-old Tire Nichols was pulled over by Memphis police on January 7 for "reckless driving." According to a family lawyer, he was beaten up by emergency services for minutes and eventually died in hospital. An autopsy report revealed that Nichols suffered profuse bleeding from severe beatings.
US President Joe Biden expressed his condolences to the family on Thursday. He called for people to remain peaceful during demonstrations. Outrage is understandable, but violence is never acceptable. Vice President Kamala Harris wrote on Twitter that the family and people of Memphis deserve that the case be solved and responsibility taken. "And all Americans deserve a justice system that lives up to its name."
Video footage of the crime is scheduled to be released on Friday evening (local time). As in previous similar cases, demonstrations are expected as a result. The Memphis police fired the five officers on Wednesday. They used excessive force, did not intervene and did not provide assistance. The family's lawyers have denounced the US police's racist treatment of black people in the country.
Deadly police violence is a regular occurrence in the United States. Often the victims are black people.