Omega Psi Phi, one of the nation’s esteemed Black fraternities, has revoked the memberships of three former Memphis police officers involved in the brutal traffic stop that led to Tyre Nichols’ death.
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. said it was unaware that the three of the officers involved in the deadly traffic stop were members of the organization until Tuesday (January 31), per The Hill.
“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,” Ricky L. Lewis, grand basileus, said in a statement on behalf of the fraternity. “We have since learned that three of the former Memphis police officers involved in the horrific incident were members of our organization.”
Lewis said the news that the officers involved in Nichols’ death were Omega Psi Phi 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.”
Graphic footage of the stop released last week shows officers kicking, punching, and striking Nichols with a baton, which led to his hospitalization and death on January 10.
Five officers — Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith — all of whom are Black, have been fired and 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.
Omega Psi Phi declined to name the officers whose membership was revoked. In footage of the deadly traffic stop, at least one officer appeared to be donning a hooding with the fraternity’s symbol.
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