5 Former Memphis Officers Plead Not Guilty In the Murder of Tyre Nichols
On Friday, five Memphis ex-police officers plead not guilty in the brutal attack and murder of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols in January.
Five former Memphis police officers alleged to have murdered 29-year-old Tyre Nichols last month have plead not guilty. On Friday (February 17), ex-cops Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Justin Smith, Emmitt Martin III, and Desmond Mills Jr., plead not guilty during their arraignment on criminal charges from the January 27 attack.
Following the pleas, Shelby County Criminal Court Judge James Jones urged both sides to be patient with the proceeding case, per CNN.
“We understand that there may be some high emotions in this case, but we ask that you continue to be patient with us,” Jones said. “Everyone involved wants this case to be concluded as quickly as possible. But it’s important for you all to understand that the state of Tennessee, as well as each one of these defendants, have an absolute right to a fair trial. And I will not allow any behavior that could jeopardize that right.”
Bean’s lawyer, John Keith Perry, claimed that his client was “doing his job” during the brutal encounter, unaware following the incident that a murder was committed. Perry said that Bean told Nichols to “sit up” to “get air.”
When asked if Bean had any regrets, Perry responded, “I think at this point, being a Memphis police officer on that night, because he wouldn’t have been called to the job.”
Last month, Nichols was repeatedly punched and kicked during a vicious assault during a traffic stop that resulted in a brief pursuit near his mother’s house at the at the intersection East Raines Road and Ross Road in Memphis.