Omega Psi Phi Fraternity revokes membership of officers involved in Tyre Nichols death

One of the nation’s most prominent Black fraternities has revoked the membership of three former officers involved in the death of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man brutally beaten by five Memphis police officers last month.

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. was unaware three officers involved in the incident were part of its organization until Jan. 31, Ricky L. Lewis, grand basileus, said in a statement.

“A few days ago, on behalf of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated, we joined with all other caring, thoughtful, decent, and fair-minded people in America and around the world in extending our deepest sympathy to the family of Tyre Nichols,” Lewis said. “We have since learned that three of the former Memphis police officers involved in the horrific incident were members of our organization.”

Five officers — Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith — were directly involved in the beating of Nichols and fired from the Memphis Police Department.

The five, all of whom are Black, have each been charged with second-degree murder, two counts of official misconduct, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, one count of official oppression and one count of aggravated assault.

In graphic video footage of the incident, at least one officer can be seen wearing a hoodie with the fraternity’s symbol on it.

Lewis said the news that three of the officers, who the fraternity did not name, were members was “devastating.”

“The brutality shown in the video not only violated our moral sensibilities but also transgressed our Fraternal and established Code of Conduct,” Lewis said. “We have the utmost confidence in the judicial process and fervently pray that the Nichols family will obtain justice.”

The fraternity had released a statement earlier in the week condemning the actions of the officers and calling for legislators to put an end to the “senseless killing of citizens in our communities by law enforcement.”

“Tyre should have made it home safely and unharmed with an opportunity to skateboard again,” Lewis said. “We expect law enforcement officers to protect life and serve our communities with the highest regard for safety and humanity. Unfortunately, what we witnessed of the violent behavior of the accused (now former) officers is the complete opposite.”

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