Police Body Cam Footage Shows Fatal Beating of Tyre Nichols – Rolling Stone

Memphis police shut down Tyree Nichols pepper-sprayed and brutally kicked and punched her as the 29-year-old screamed for her mother, video of the fatal beating emerged Friday.

Four videos [Warning: graphic images] The released city shows the violent attack on Nichols after a traffic stop on January 7th. In Tennessee Bureau of InvestigationThe Department of Justice and the FBI are investigating.

Nichols died of his injuries on January 10.

In the first video, about a minute in, an officer is shown drawing a weapon. Another officer shouts “you’re going to break your head” and another shouts “get your ass out of the freaking car”. As he is dragged to the ground, Nichols can be heard saying, “I didn’t do anything.”

The officers continue to yell at Nichols to “get on the ground,” and Nichols can be heard saying, “Okay, I’m on the ground.” Nichols also asks the police officers to “stop,” saying, “You’re trying to do a lot right now. I’m just trying to get home.”

As the officers continue to yell and push Nichols to the ground, Nichols breaks free and begins to run. The officers pursue Nichols on foot, where another Memphis Police officer tackles him a short distance away. At one point, the officer says, “I hope they kick his ass.”

In a second video released by police, a pole-mounted security camera captured footage of officers struggling with Nichols on a residential street. An officer uses his baton to beat Nichols as he struggles on the sidewalk. As Nichols manages to regain his footing, several officers can be seen restraining him while another officer repeatedly punches Nichols. At one point, the officer kicked Nichols twice in the head.

In a third video, officers can be seen pinning Nichols to the ground, punching him in the face and pepper-spraying him. Nichols can be heard crying as the police kick and beat him with batons. Video shows four Nichols lying motionless and unattended on the ground while officers negotiate a traffic stop.

Before releasing the video, the police chief prepared the public for what they were about to see, acknowledging the need for protest and urging residents to protest peacefully. In a video statement Wednesday evening, Davis said he expected people to feel “outraged” by the “disrespect for basic human rights” shown in the video. He predicted that people would rebel against what they saw and urged them to demonstrate peacefully. “I expect our citizens to exercise their First Amendment right to protest, to demand action and results, but we must ensure that our community is safe in the process,” he said. “None of this is a calling card to incite violence or destruction in our society or against our citizens.”

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On the morning of January 8, while Nichols, a FedEx worker and avid skateboarder, was fighting for his life in the hospital, the Memphis Police Department issued a statement with a rare description of their official version of the previous evening’s events: Officers pulled Nichols over for “reckless driving” around 8:30 p.m. When officers approached Nichols’ vehicle, Memphis PD stated, “a struggle ensued” and Nichols attempted to flee on foot. Police officers chased him down and took him into custody after another alleged “standoff.” He then complained of “shortness of breath,” the statement said, and was taken to the hospital by ambulance “in critical condition.”

In an interview Friday morning on CNN, Nichols’ mother, Rowe Vaughn Wells, said police knocked on her door on the evening of Jan. 7 and told her her son had been arrested for driving under the influence. This surprised her. “My son drinks like this,” he said. They told him they “had to take his pepper spray and spray into custody” and that he would be treated by a paramedic who would then be taken to the hospital and then ordered. Wells said they asked him if he was taking any drugs because they said he showed “extraordinary strength” when officers tried to handcuff him. “What they were describing was not my son, so I was very confused,” she said. When he asked if he could see him, they told him no, and only told him that he was “near”. “I didn’t get anything from them,” he said. It wasn’t until St. Francis Hospital called him at 4 a.m. and asked, “Why aren’t you here?” that he said that he knows where to find his son. The doctor told him on the phone that he was suffering from cardiac arrest and kidney failure. “It’s not appropriate to spray or pepper anyone,” he said. The Memphis Police Department did not respond to a request for comment Friday afternoon about Wells’ description of the officers’ conduct that night.

Sitting next to Nichols’ stepfather, Rodney Wells, Rowan described coming to the hospital and seeing his son. “They beat him up,” he said. “He was scarred all over, his head was swollen like a watermelon, his neck was torn from the swelling. They broke his neck. My son’s nose was like a ‘C’. They really just beat him. When I saw this, I realized that my son was gone.” Two days later, on January 10, he died of his injuries.

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While Nichols’ family hopes for justice in his murder, loved ones also remember him for his past life, which included hobbies and interests beyond the headlines about his murder. One of his favorite pastimes was skateboarding, which he has reportedly been doing since he was 6 years old. In a 2010 YouTube skate video of Nichols, which is going viral on social media, he looks home on a board, spins 360 times and connects multiple tricks. A friend told a Memphis newspaper Business application, “skating gave him wings.”

Nichols also described himself as an aspiring photographer. On a website he set up to showcase his landscape photography, he says, “Photography helps me look at the world creatively.” The portfolio he has posted includes images of Memphis-area landmarks, both historic and mundane: the Elvis statue, Beale Street, the FedExForum arena downtown. His mother told CNN that he loves taking pictures of sunsets. “I hope to one day let people see what I see and hopefully admire my work based on the quality and ideals of my work,” he said on the site. “So on that note, enjoy my page and let me know what you think.” He signed: “Your friend, Tyr D. Nichols”.

On Monday, Nichols’ family privately watched police body camera footage of the fatal stop that January night. Through their attorneys, Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci, the family said officers treated Nichols like a “human piñata.” Romanucci told reporters, “It was a three-minute, unprovoked, relentless beating of this young boy.”

The family was held Thursday night at a local skatepark where activists protested police brutality in Memphis. “People are literally being killed violently in the city of Memphis,” one activist said, according to a report by WREG. “And the city is responding by adding police officers. By adding task force units. Not this time, we’re not going to take it anymore.” Nichols’ mother reportedly urged protesters to keep the protests non-violent. “I want each of you to protest peacefully,” he said. “I don’t want us to burn down our cities, destroy our streets, because that’s what my son is now.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray told reporters on Friday that he, too, had seen the video and was “shocked” by it. He promised that the incident would be thoroughly investigated and at the same time urged people to remain calm. “I just add my voice to the Attorney General and to the families that my heart goes out to, that there is a right way and a wrong way to express your displeasure or anger about something in this country, and we need to make sure that if those feelings are expressed in stated here, it is done properly.”

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At a press conference Thursday, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director David Rausch said the beating “shouldn’t have happened.” He said he was sickened by the body camera footage, which he also described as “terrifying”.

On Friday afternoon, White House Press Secretary Karin Jean-Pierre offered her condolences to the Nichols family and the city of Memphis on behalf of President Biden. “We all need to recommit ourselves to the important work that needs to be done to advance meaningful reform,” he said, adding that Biden believes that “to change reality, we must hold law enforcement officers accountable when they violate their rights.” to have.”

Last week, after an internal Memphis police investigation found that the officers were “directly responsible” for Nichols’ injuries, they were fired. Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith were charged Thursday afternoon with second-degree murder, kidnapping, aggravated assault and official misconduct and oppression. At a news conference announcing the charges, Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy said the investigation is still ongoing. All officers have been released on bail, according to an inmate search at the Shelby County Jail.


At a press conference on Thursday, according to the report New York Times, attorney William Massey, who represents Martin, said, “Nobody intended for Tyr Nichols to die that night.” At the same event, Blake Ballin, who represents Mills, expressed concern that releasing the video could sway the jury pool against his client. “I’m just warning people not to judge,” he said. . “Know that there is always more to the story.” Both said Thursday that they had not seen the video and that their clients would not plead guilty.

Representatives of the family said in a statement on Thursday that the indictment gives them hope for justice. “This tragedy meets the absolute definition of needless and unnecessary death,” they said. “The lives of Tyre’s loved ones were changed forever when he was beaten, and we will be chanting his name until justice is served.”


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