Two more law enforcement officers are under investigation in connection to the death of Tyre Nichols.
A pair of Shelby County deputies were suspended Friday night shortly after Memphis police released video of the brutal and fatal beatdown of Nichols allegedly at the hands of five city officers.
“Having watched the videotape for the first time tonight, I have concerns about two deputies who appeared on the scene following the physical confrontation between police and Tyre Nichols,” Sheriff Flyof Bonner said in a statement Friday.
“I have launched an internal investigation into the conduct of these deputies to determine what occurred and if any policies were violated. Both of these deputies have been relieved of duty pending the outcome of this administrative investigation.”
The announcement came just an hour after Bonner extended his sympathies to Nichols’ family and promised to do everything in his power to prevent another “senseless” tragedy.
The sheriff’s office did not return an immediate request for comment.
The deputies were among the law enforcement officers to respond to the December incident, which began as a traffic stop but quickly evolved into an hour-long assault.
Though only five Memphis police officers were charged in the attack, video footage released Friday shows that several more cops were present for the beatdown.
Dramatic police body camera footage shows the five police officers punching, kicking, pepper spraying, tasering and verbally threatening Nichols while he’s restrained in handcuffs.
Nichols can be heard screaming and repeatedly calling “Mom!” during the incident, which took place just 100 yards from his home.
Nichols succumbed to his injuries three days later.
The five police department cops — Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr. and Justin Smith — were charged with Nichols’ murder, as well as aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct, and official oppression in addition to second-degree murder.
They were fired from the department last week after an internal investigation found that they used excessive force and failed their duties to intervene and render aid.
It’s not yet clear what role the sheriff’s deputies played in the deadly attack.
The footage release of Nichols’ murder has sparked nationwide protests. In Memphis, about 300 protesters shut down the Memphis and Arkansas Bridge, a severe backup of hundreds of vehicles on the major thoroughfare.
At least three people were handcuffed during protests in New York City. The night began peacefully, but tensions grew as the demonstrations progressed, with one man climbing onto a police patrol car and smashing the windshield with his foot.
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