Memphis police to release video of Tyre Nichols fatal beating
A video of the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols, a Black man who died three days after the violent traffic stop by the police, will be released today, Friday.
On Jan.7, Nichols, 29, was in critical condition after Memphis police stopped him due to an alleged traffic violation. Although there are limited details about what went down between Nichols and the officers, the police first said that Nichols escaped on foot during a reckless driving stop.
In addition, police also said that there was a “confrontation” in place in the attempt to detain him. But Memphis Police Chief C.J. Davis said on Friday that a review of the available video footage doesn’t “substantiate the reckless driving” claim. She said, “It doesn’t mean that something didn’t happen. But there’s no proof. The cameras didn’t pick up.”
This is who Tyre Nichols was — a talented and dedicated skateboarder with SO much life left to live… He didn’t deserve to be tragically taken from his family and community! We will continue to fight for accountability for you Tyre! #JusticeForTyreNichols pic.twitter.com/hYwMnRRZEA
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) January 23, 2023
On Monday, officials offered Tyre Nichols’ family a private viewing of the footage. However, RowVaughn Wells, his mother, only watched the first minute of the video, according to the family attorneys Antonio Romanucci and Ben Crump.
A candlelight vigil took place in Memphis’ Tobey Park on Thursday night. Wells said during the event, “Our family is grief-stricken right now, and this is very hard to swallow.”
She also warned about how “horrific” are the video content and asked the public to protest peacefully. Wells said, “I don’t want us burning up our cities, tearing up the streets, because that’s not what my son stood for.”
This is Tyre Nichols — a 29yo Black man who died last week, days after a brutal traffic stop with @MEM_PoliceDept.
Tyre's family described an avid skateboarder who brought joy to all, someone “you know when he comes through the door he wants to give you a hug.” pic.twitter.com/pA79GGQuBzADVERTISEMENT
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) January 17, 2023
Atty. Romanucci described the footage as an “unadulterated, unabashed, nonstop beating” that lasted for three minutes. While Atty. Crump said, “What we can tell you about the video: It is appalling, deplorable, and heinous … violent.”
Tyler Nichols’ video footage
Atty. Crump continued, “And it’s very troublesome on every level because you have to ask yourself, yet again, we’re seeing evidence of what happens to Black and brown people from simple traffic stops.”
Five officers were involved in the incident, Demetrius Haley, Tadarrius Bean, Desmond Mills Jr., Justin Smith, and Emmitt Martin III. Higher police officials fired them last week after the investigation proved that they violated a policy by using force.
On Thursday, the court charged the five police officers. According to NBC News, Shelby County District Atty. Steve Mulroy told reporters that their unacceptable actions led to Tyre Nichols’ death. Mulroy said that following an “initial altercation” when “he deployed a pepper spray,” Nichols ran away from the police.
Mulroy added, “There was another altercation nearby, where Mr. Nichols experienced serious injuries. After some period of time of waiting around afterward, the ambulance took him.”
The police charges
The Shelby County Jail records show the court charged Martin, Smith, and Bean with three counts of official misconduct, two counts of aggravated assault, and second-degree murder.
While Haley and Mills have a charge of two counts of official misconduct, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, one count of official oppression, second-degree murder, and one count of acting in concert to commit aggravated assault.
However, two of the police officers, Smith and Mills, posted a $250,000 bond. According to jail records, the officers released them late Thursday while Martin, Haley, and Bean remained under police custody. But as of Friday morning, jail records proved that only Hailey stayed in prison.
There were no responses on several attempts to reach the officers. In addition, Mills and Martin’s attorneys didn’t reply with any comment. It’s also uncertain if the others have held legal representation.
Police Chief Davis specified the incident as “heinous, reckless, and inhumane.” She added, “I expect you to feel what the Nichols family feels,” she said. “I expect you to feel outrage in the disregard of basic human rights, as our police officers have taken an oath to do the opposite of what transpired on the video.”
According to the family’s attorneys, initial findings of the autopsy showed Nichols was harshly beaten before he died. Moreover, the Shelby County medical office hasn’t released an official statement of his death.
Jill and I extend our hearts to the family of Tyre Nichols – they deserve a swift, full, and transparent investigation.
Tyre’s death is a painful reminder that we must do more to ensure that our justice system lives up to the promise of fairness and dignity for all.
— President Biden (@POTUS) January 27, 2023
Meanwhile, Memphis is getting ready for possible protests after the video release. Memphis-Shelby County schools are canceling after-school events on Friday. While Southwest Tennessee Community College will hold classes virtually.
Furthermore, President Biden sympathized with Nichols’ family. He said Thursday that the family deserves a “swift, full, and transparent investigation. Tyre’s death is a painful reminder that we must do more to ensure that our criminal justice system lives up to the promise of fair and impartial justice, equal treatment, and dignity for all.”
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