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Former Memphis officers federally charged for death of Tyre Nichols

A federal grand jury indicted the officers of civil rights violations. Associated Press/Photo by Adrian Sainz

Former Memphis officers federally charged for death of Tyre Nichols

A federal grand jury in Memphis on Tuesday indicted the five former police officers with violating federal civil rights law. Nichols had a right to be free from unreasonable use of force, and the then-officers assaulted him and failed to intervene, the Justice Department wrote in a press release. The Justice Department also federally charged the five men with conspiracy to tamper with witnesses and obstruction of justice. All five men also face state felony charges of second-degree murder and aggravated assault concerning Nichols’ death in January. Video footage shows the officers severely beating Nichols during a traffic stop. He died in the hospital three days later.

Have the officers entered pleas? All five former officers have pleaded not guilty to the state charges. Attorneys for two of the officers said the federal charges were expected and their clients would fight the allegations. If convicted, the two civil rights violations resulting in death carry a sentence of up to life in prison. 

Dig deeper: Read Leo Briceno’s report in The Stew about a proposal in Colorado to address police brutality.

Lauren Canterberry

Lauren Canterberry is a reporter for WORLD. She graduated from the World Journalism Institute and the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism, both in 2017. She worked as a local reporter in Texas and now lives in Georgia with her husband.

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