Five former Memphis police officers were sacked for their actions during the arrest of Tyre Nichols earlier this month. They were indicted on charges including murder and kidnapping, said Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy on Thursday.

The former police officers, Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Justin Smith, Emmitt Martin, and Desmond Mills Jr, have each been charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, two charges of aggravated kidnapping, two charges of official misconduct, and one charge of official oppression, he added. All five officers are Black.

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After the brutal beating on January 7, Nichols was hospitalized in critical condition and died three days later. 

Initially, police said that Nichols fled on foot during a traffic stop for reckless driving and that a “confrontation” happened when the officers tried to detain them. Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis said that an investigation and review of available camera footage could not substantiate the reckless driving claim.

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Two of the officers arrested had been on the job for a couple of years and the others had not more than six years.

Who is Demetrius Haley?

Haley joined the Memphis Police Department in August 2020 and before that he worked as a corrections officer for the Shelby County Corrections Department. He is 30 years old.

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In a 2016 lawsuit filed in US District Court for Western Tennessee, he was accused of taking part in the beat of an inmate named Cordarlrius Sledge around eight years ago. According to Sledge, Haley and another officer punched him in the face and a third slammed him face-first into a sink. “After that I blacked out,” Sledge said in the lawsuit.

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In 2018, the case was dismissed after a judge ruled that Sledge has not properly served one of the defendants with a summons. Sledge said he was in federal custody at the time and unable to complete all the paperwork. He filed the suit without the help of a lawyer.