Tyre Nichols yelled repeatedly, “Mother! Five Memphis police officers charged with killing black motorist after traffic stopped on Jan. 7, according to video released by city on Friday. and beat him with kicks, punches and batons.
Video from police body-worn and pole-mounted cameras leaked online the day after officers were charged with second-degree murder, assault, kidnapping, official misconduct and coercion in Nichols’ death.
The police officers, all black, were fired from the police department last week. Nichols, 29, was hospitalized and died of his injuries three days after the crash in the city where he lived with his mother and stepfather and worked for her FedEx.
Four video clips show an aggressive escalation of violence against a motorist who police initially said was stopped for reckless driving. The police chief has since said the reason for the suspension was not justified.
The beatings seemed well beyond the point where Nichols could pose a threat to police. of officers are watching the scene without intervening.
Nicholls, father of 4-year-old child turned videotaped ordeal in latest face of US racial justice movement sparked by George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis police in 2020 .
Nichols is described by his friends and family as an easy-going and accomplished skateboarder who recently enrolled in a photography class. Raised in Sacramento, California, he moved to the Memphis area before the coronavirus pandemic.
After watching the video, Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner said he had “concerns about the two agents who showed up at the scene” after Nichols’ arrest. He said on Twitter that he has been suspended until the
After the video was released Friday night, dozens of Memphis protesters marched along Interstate 55 and blocked traffic near a bridge that crosses the Mississippi River into Arkansas.
A spokesman for the New York City Police Department said three people had been arrested for damaging police vehicles during protests in Times Square. In other cities such as Atlanta, Washington and Sacramento, demonstrations were largely peaceful.
The first video released on Friday showed officers dragging Nichols out of the driver’s seat of the car, stopping at an intersection and yelling, “I’m not doing anything… I’m just trying to get home.” are showing. They ordered him to lie face down and ground him to the ground while they sprayed his face with pepper spray.
Nichols breaks free and sprints down the street while the cops pursue him on foot. At least one fires a stun gun at him. Other footage shows the ensuing fight after officers caught up with Nichols again in a nearby neighborhood. people punch Nichols.
While Nichols yelled, “Mom! Mom!” His mother said her son was only about 80 yards from her home when he was beaten.
He arrives on a stretcher 19 minutes after the first paramedics arrive on the scene.
Memphis Police Commissioner Selene Davis said the video showed police officer behavior “inhumane” before it was released.
Ben Crump, a civil rights attorney representing the Nichols family, has told police to disband their SCORPIONS unit, which is designed to focus on street violent crimes and has been assigned at least some of the officers involved. I asked.
“No mother should go through what I’m going through. No mother would lose a child as violently as I lost a child,” said Lowborn Wells, Nichols’ mother. Told. President Joe Biden said he was “furious” and “deeply distressed” after watching the video.
The Nichols family and Biden appealed for calm in Memphis, a city of 628,000 people whose residents are about 65% black. Biden offered his condolences to Nichols’ stepfathers Law Vaughan Wells and Rodney Wells on Friday, according to the White House.
Nichols’ death is the latest high-profile case police have accused of using excessive force in recent killings of blacks and other minorities.
Black Lives Against Racial Injustice after the murder of a black man, Mr. Floyd, who died after being knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes by a white Minneapolis police officer in May 2020. Below protest movements erupted around the world.
Antonio Romanucci, another lawyer for Nichols’ family, told National Public Radio on Friday that Nichols was a strong supporter of Black Lives Matter and “basically died for his own cause.”
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday announced a federal civil rights investigation into Nichols’ death.
Records show former officers Justin Smith, Desmond Mills Jr., Emmitt Martin III, Demetrius Haley and Tadarrius Bean were released on bond after they were booked into the Shelby County Jail on Thursday morning.
Defense attorney Blake Ballin, who represents Mills, said he and his client would review the videos “together at the appropriate time.” He has said Mills will plead not guilty, as has a lawyer for Martin. Attorneys for Smith, Bean and Haley could not be reached.
Reporting by Alyssa Pointer in Memphis; Writing and additional reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Additional reporting by Brendan O’Brien, Daniel Trotta, Eric Beech, Trevor Hunnicutt, Nathan Layne, Sharon Bernstein and Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Grant McCool, Rosalba O’Brien and William Mallard