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US policeman pleads guilty to beating black man to death


US policeman pleads guilty to beating black man to death

One of the five US police officers charged in the fatal beating of a young African-American man, Tyre Nichols pleaded guilty on Thursday with persecutors recommending a 15-year jail term.

The incident, which took place in January, involved bodycam footage revealing the five officers, repeatedly kicking and punching Tyre Nichols, 29, during a traffic stop near his home in Memphis. Tragically, Nichols passed away in the hospital three days later.

Nichols has been stopped for an alleged traffic violation and subsequently subjected to severe beatings by the officers.

Desmond Mills, one of the officers, initially pleaded not guilty along with the other four officers when they appeared in court in Tennessee in February.

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However, Mills has now pleaded guilty as part of a settlement that encompasses pending state and federal charges.

The officers are already facing felony charges from the state of Tennessee and were further indicted in September by a federal grand jury in Memphis.

Mills, aged 33, entered a guilty plea on Thursday to two of the four counts in the indictment.

These counts include excessive force and failing to intervene, as well as an attempted cover-up, according to a statement from the Justice Department.

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The Shelby County District Attorney’s office issued a statement clarifying that this plea is part of a broader settlement of all pending state and federal charges, following Mills’ guilty plea to the federal charges.

The other four officers; Emmitt Martin, Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, and Justin Smith have maintained their not guilty pleas concerning the federal charges.

Attorneys representing Nichols’s family, who have filed a civil lawsuit against the city of Memphis in connection with his death, have interpreted Mills’ plea as confirmation that he was not acting as an “individual actor” in the incident.

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They issued a statement expressing their belief that the officers, including Mills, were following a policy that not only violated the civil rights of innocent civilians but also caused unnecessary pain to many.

The trial of the remaining four police officers is scheduled for May 2024, according to the statement.

Vice President Kamala Harris attended Nichols’ funeral in February, and his family members were invited to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address in Washington several days later.