One of five police officers charged federally in the January beating death of an African-American man, Tire Nichols, in Memphis, southeast of the United States, pleaded guilty Thursday, the Department of Corrections announced. American justice.
The case, which sparked strong national emotion, forcing the White House to react, had raised fears of a conflagration after videos of the Jan. 7 arrest in Memphis of Tire Nichols, 29, were released. beaten relentlessly by five policemen, also black. He died three days later in hospital.
The five police officers, who were fired and already indicted by the state of Tennessee, were also indicted Sept. 12 by a federal grand jury on four counts.
One of them, Desmond Mills, 33, pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Memphis. The trial of the other four is scheduled for May 6, 2024, the Ministry of Justice said in a press release.
Desmond Mills pleaded guilty to two counts of excessive force and attempted concealment. He faces a maximum of 15 years in prison, the ministry said.
Attorneys for the family of Tire Nichols, who are suing the city of Memphis in a civil lawsuit, said in a statement that Desmond Mills’ testimony corroborated their allegations, saying he was “not an individual actor.”
“We remain convinced that these officers, including Mills, acted under a policy that not only violated the civil rights of innocent civilians, but also caused unnecessary suffering to many people,” they said.
More than three years after the death of George Floyd, which caused a wave of global emotion and large anti-racist demonstrations, the United States is still experiencing numerous cases of police violence.