Tyree Nichols’ brother, Jamal Dupree, said he hopes the five Memphis police officers accused of beating his brother to death during a Jan. 7 traffic stop “die.”
“You want my truth? … I hope they die,” Dupree, who lives in Sacramento, California, told FOX 40.
Memphis Police Department officers initially stopped Nichols, 29, for “reckless driving” on Jan. 7. MPD said in a Jan. 8 press release that after a confrontation ensued, Nichols fled on foot. The five officers who pursued him allegedly beat the 29-year-old to death, violating multiple MPD policies.
Nichols died three days later on Jan. 10 in the hospital.
On Jan. 20, MPD announced the termination of the five officers involved in the incident for violating “multiple department policies, including excessive use of force, duty to intervene, and duty to render aid,” MPD Chief CJ Davis said in a press release at the time. All five were hired between 2017 and 2020.
The former officers including Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith turned themselves in and were each charged with seven counts, including one count of second-degree murder, one count of aggravated assault, one count of official oppression and two counts each of aggravated kidnapping and official misconduct. They had all been released from jail after posting bond as of Friday morning.
“It doesn’t really mean nothing at this time until they’re actually found guilty for the actual charges,” Dupree told FOX 40. “There’s a good chance they can walk free from this.”
He noted that his brother’s “last words were screaming for” his mother, “and they didn’t care.”
Dupree’s comments came before MPD released police-worn bodycam footage of his brother’s beating death. MPD is expected to make the bodycam video — which Attorney General Merrick Garland described as “deeply disturbing” — public around 7 p.m. ET on Friday, leading cities across the United States, including Memphis, Atlanta and New York City, to prepare for potentially large protests beginning on Friday evening and continuing throughout the weekend.
The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division also opened an investigation into the incident on Jan. 18.
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