Officials Release Footage From Fatal Beating Of Tyre Nichols At The Hands Of Memphis Police
Attorney Benjamin Crump previously compared the incident to the beating of Rodney King in 1991.
January 28, 2023 at 1:48 am
Memphis officials have released bodycam footage of five Black officers brutally beating 29-year-old Tyre Nichols after a traffic stop on Jan. 7, resulting in his death three days later.
Before its release, Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis advised the public that the footage would be incredibly graphic.
Blavity will not be posting the video on our platforms.
“Individuals watching will feel what the family felt. And if you don’t, then you’re not a human being,” Davis told CNN.
The video shows how the scene unfolded. Nichols, who worked at FedEx, was stopped while driving to his mother’s home to enjoy a meal break, as Blavity previously mentioned.
In the video released on Friday, Nichols is being punched several times while he is on the ground.
The footage also shows officers deploying a Taser and pepper spray. However, some of the officers were hit with their own pepper spray during the confrontation.
As people on social media continue to analyze the video, many are especially talking about an officer who was heard saying “I hope they stomp his ass,” referring to Nichols.
According to NBC News, the officer made the remark after he was nearly hit with pepper spray.
“You sprayed me too but luckily it didn’t get into my eyes, just on my eye brow,” he said. “I hope I stomp his ass.”
Police are on camera saying " im going to baton the fuck out of you" and "I hope they stomp his ass" WTF? This is a systemic problem. From top to bottom, this is how our police act. #TyreNichols #MemphisPolice #blm
— Juan (@jsvilla) January 28, 2023
The five officers — Demetrius Haley, Tadarrius Bean, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith — all face the same charges: two counts of official misconduct, one count of official oppression, one count of second-degree murder, one count of aggravated assault and two counts of aggravated kidnapping.
In a statement issued before the footage release, police said “a confrontation occurred” when officers first approached Nichols. Another confrontation occurred after Nichols tried to run away, police said, according to ABC 24.
Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy confirmed that officers deployed pepper spray on Nichols, who passed in the hospital on Jan. 10. According to CNN, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation stated that Nichols died due to injuries sustained in the “use-of-force incident with officers.”
The autopsy’s preliminary results revealed that Nichols had “extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating.”
Police were preparing for possible riots while the public anticipated highly graphic images before the footage was released.
This Memphis video of the lynching of Tyre Nichols must be awful. Basically everybody who has seen it is like "Please don't riot when you see this like you probably should." I've never seen a reaction like that.
— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) January 26, 2023
Tomorrow, they will release the video of the murder of Tyre Nichols at the hands of police.
We say this all the time but stop sharing videos of Black death by the state. We don’t do this with white victims of violence. It’s traumatizing and desensitizing all of us.
— Ola Ojewumi (@Olas_Truth) January 27, 2023
It’s sad. But if there wasn’t a video and if people didn’t get outraged by such videos, there would be zero justice in these cases. I respect the sentiments of anyone who doesn’t want to see it, but I’ll bear witness.
— Dyjuan Tatro (@DyjuanTatro) January 27, 2023
Nichols’ family and attorneys watched the footage before its public release and described the scene as “heinous.” Attorney Benjamin Crump compared the incident to the Los Angeles Police beating of Rodney King in 1991.
Nichols loved photographing sunsets and skateboarding. He also enjoyed watching sports and meeting up with friends at Starbucks, as Blavity shared.
His mother, RowVaughn Wells, described him as a “good boy.” She said he spent Sundays preparing for the week and doing his laundry.
“To the five officers that killed my son… I’m praying for you and your family,” Wells told reporters, according to ABC 24. “This shouldn’t have happened. We want justice for my son. I’m still dealing with death of my son. No mother should go through what I went through the violent way I lost my son.”
As local governments across the nation prepared for possible protests following the release of the video, The White House homeland security adviser spoke to several mayors about their plans.
“Participating mayors shared their perspectives on how important it is to recognize the pain felt by communities across this country, be prepared in advance with a game plan to provide adequate community support, and to reinforce the importance of peace and calm during these difficult moments,” the White House said in a statement to NBC News.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams said the city will ensure that peaceful demonstrations can be held.
“They are fully prepared to allow New Yorkers to peacefully voice their concerns,” Adams said about the NYPD according to NBC New York.
In Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp has already
declared a state of emergency in response to ongoing violent protests in Atlanta following a shooting last week in which a Georgia state trooper was wounded and a man was killed, according to CBS News reports.