MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A timeline of events in the Tire Nichols case, which sparked state and federal investigations into police brutality and led to the murder and other charges against the five officers involved in his arrest this month:
– January 7: Tire Nichols is pulled over by police for an alleged traffic violation after photographing a sunset, according to accounts his family later provided. He ensues in a confrontation and is brutally beaten by five Memphis Police officers in an encounter that is recorded by police body cameras.
– January 8: Memphis Police said in a statement that officers attempted to stop a man for reckless driving on January 7 and he was taken to the hospital in critical condition after two fights. The first description of the incident says that a collision occurred when officers approached the vehicle and the suspect fled on foot. Officers gave chase and another confrontation ensued as they took him into custody, police said. Subject complained of shortness of breath and was taken to hospital. Due to his condition, police contacted the Shelby County District Attorney General’s office, who asked the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to conduct an investigation into the use of force.
– January 10: The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says the man involved in the altercation with Memphis officers “died of his injuries” and identifies him as 29-year-old Tire D. Nichols, a black man.
– January 14: Nichols’ family, friends and supporters protest outside a Memphis police station and demand that police release video of the arrest on body cam. Nichols’ stepfather, Rodney Wells, told local media that his stepson suffered cardiac arrest and kidney failure from a beating by officers.
– January 15: Police Chief Cerelyn Davis says she reviewed information about the encounter and decided to take immediate action by notifying the officers involved of policy violations.
— January 16: Civil rights attorney Ben Crump announces he is representing Nichols’ family and asks police to release body camera and surveillance video from the traffic stop. Meanwhile, protesters gather at the Civil Rights Museum to push for the release of the police video and demand that the officers be charged.
— January 18: The US Department of Justice announces it has opened a civil rights probe.
— January 20: The five officers involved in the arrest are fired after an internal investigation finds they used excessive force, failed to intervene, and failed to assist. They are identified as Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith. All five are black.
— January 23: Nichols’ family views police video with their attorneys, who say it shows Nichols being beaten for three minutes in a “wild” encounter reminiscent of the infamous 1991 police beating of Los Angeles motorist Rodney King . The video shows Nichols was shocked, pepper sprayed and restrained after being dragged minutes from his home as he returned from a suburban park where he had taken sunset photos. Crump says the family agreed to investigators’ requests to delay the release of the video or risk jeopardizing the criminal investigation.
– January 24: Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy says the release of the police video will be carefully timed to avoid the possibility of suspects or witnesses tailoring their statements to what they saw in it and asks the public to have patience. The schedule irritates activists who expected the video to be released after Nichols’ family saw it. Meanwhile, the Memphis Fire Department says two employees involved in Nichols’ initial care the night of his arrest have been removed from duty while the agency conducts an investigation.
— January 25: Davis, the police chief, calls the officers’ actions “heinous, reckless and inhumane” and calls on people to protest peacefully when the video is made public. He says in a statement released on social media that other officers are still being investigated for violating department policy and that a “comprehensive and independent review” of the department’s specialized units will be conducted.
– January 26: The five officers are charged with murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression. Mulroy says they each had different roles in the murder, but “they’re all responsible.” Mulroy also announces that the traffic jam video will be released to the public the following evening. Nichols’ parents say they are satisfied with the allegations against the agents. At an evening candlelight vigil, Nichols’ mother begs supporters to “protest in peace” as the “horrific” footage is released.
— January 27: Memphis authorities release footage showing Nichols beaten by five officers who repeatedly hit him with fists, boots and batons as he screams for his mother. The video is filled with violent moments showing the officers, also black, chasing and punching Nichols and leaving him on the sidewalk leaning against a police car as they bang their fists and celebrate their actions. Protesters gather for mostly peaceful demonstrations in multiple cities including Memphis, New York and Washington.