The city of Memphis released the official footage of the violent arrest of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols which shows what prosecutors say was a “police beating that directly caused his death” earlier this month. Memphis police officers were charged with senselessly beating Nichols during a traffic stop, all while pepper-spraying each other during his arrest.
Police had stopped Nichols for alleged recklessness at an intersection on January 7th with guns drawn. The bodycam then shows them demanding he gets out of his car as they yelled expletive-laced commands. Police officers then tried to handcuff him after forcing him to the ground.
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In the first two altercations, Nichols is seen freeing himself as one officer then deploys a taser and pepper spray, but he runs down the street where police would later locate him and beat him once more. The video then shows the cop taking a water bottle and flushing his and his partner’s eyes several times.
An officer can be heard saying, “Why did I spray myself?” While the other one answered, “Hey, you sprayed me too, but just got me in the eyebrow,” he chuckles.
“I hope they stomp his ass,” he then comments about Nichols. When they were able to catch up to him, he was pepper sprayed once more and again brutally punched, hit with a baton, and kicked him. After he was cuffed, one officer tells others, “we’re all sprayed.”
Nichols, who is a FedexEx employee and a father, died three days later in the hospital. His cause of death has yet to be released.
Officers Charged in Tyre Nichols’ Death
Five black officers identified as Emmitt Martin III, Tadarrius Bean, Desmond Mills Jr., Demetrius Haley and Justice Smith were all charged with his murder and surrendered to law enforcement. They are charged with aggravated kidnapping, official oppression in addition to second-degree murder, official misconduct and aggravated assault.
They were all released from Shelby County Jail Friday morning after they each posted between $250,000 to $350,000 bail.
According to CBS News, investigators are still searching for more video evidence from surveillance videos around the area to determine what sparked the confrontation. About the video, Nicholas’ mother, RowVaghn Wells, Told CBS Mornings that she couldn’t bear to watch the full video.
“All I heard my son say was, ‘What did I do?’ I just lost it from there,” she stated.
After the video was released, President Joe Biden acknowledged that he had seen the “horrific” video, saying that it left him “outraged and deeply pained.” He added that the public should be “justifiably outraged.”
“Those who seek justice should not to resort to violence or destruction,” Biden’s said in a statment. “Violence is never acceptable; it is illegal and destructive. I join Mr. Nichols’ family in calling for peaceful protest.”