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After a weekend of protests, the Memphis probe into Tyre Nichols’ death continues as calls for wider police reform grow

Protesters block traffic as they rally against the fatal police assault of Tyre Nichols, in Venice, California, on January 29.
Agustin Paullier/AFP/Getty Images
Protesters block traffic as they rally against the fatal police assault of Tyre Nichols, in Venice, California, on January 29.

(CNN) -- As protesters gathered in US cities over the weekend to decry the deadly police beating of a 29-year-old Black man in Memphis, questions linger over whether more criminal charges may be filed in the case as national-level calls again echo for police reform.

The fallout from Tyre Nichols' brutal January 7 encounter with police has been relatively swift: Five Black officers involved were fired and charged with murder and kidnapping, while the police unit they were part of was disbanded.

As the investigation continues, the civil rights attorney representing Nichols' family thinks there will be more fallout, but "whether that's going to lead to criminal charges, we have to see," Ben Crump said. Details of the case continue to emerge amid broader public scrutiny of how US police use force, especially against people of color.

The Shelby County prosecutor wouldn't comment on more charges, but "nothing we did last Thursday regarding indictments precludes us from bringing other charges later," Steve Mulroy said.

"We are going to need time to allow the investigation to go forward and further consideration of charges," the district attorney told CNN on Sunday, calling it "unprecedented" that indictment charges were brought against the officers within just weeks.

Officials knew releasing video footage of Nichols' beating without filing charges against the officers could be "incendiary," Mulroy said. "The best solution was to expedite the investigation and to expedite the consideration of charges so that the charges could come first and then the release of the video."

Video of the encounter is difficult to watch. It begins with a traffic stop and goes on to show officers repeatedly beating Nichols with batons, punching him and kicking him -- including at one point while his hands are restrained behind his back.

Nichols was left slumped to the ground in handcuffs, and 23 minutes passed before a stretcher arrived at the scene. Nichols was hospitalized and died three days later.

"All of these officers failed their oath," Crump told CNN on Sunday. "They failed their oath to protect and serve. Look at that video: Was anybody trying to protect and serve Tyre Nichols?"

As a makeshift memorial grew on the corner where Nichols was beaten, marching protesters in many cities -- from New York City to Atlanta, Boston and Los Angeles -- carried signs bearing the name of the young Black man whom the country heard calling for his mother as he was kicked and pepper-sprayed.

Nichols' family, now at the center of unfamiliar media attention, remembered him as a good son and father who enjoyed skateboarding, photography and sunsets. They recalled his smile and hugs and mourned the moments they'll never have again.

They also promised to "keep saying his name until justice is served."

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