THE City of Memphis has released harrowing body camera footage that shows the fatal beating of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols after he was pulled over in a traffic stop.
Nichols died from his injuries on January 10, three days after the violent stop by five officers from the Memphis Police Department.
8Tyre Nichols, 29, died from injuries sustained after he was pulled over by five members of the Memphis Police DepartmentCredit: Reuters8His mother RowVaughn Wells has called for protesters to remain peacefulCredit: APThe videos released by authorities on Friday show officers stopping Nichols for what they said was reckless driving.
Officers pulled the man out of his car and screamed at him to get out of the ground while he yelled “I didn’t do anything.”
All five officers were fired in the wake of the incident. They were charged with second-degree murder and related offenses on Thursday, Reuters reported.
Ahead of the video’s release, police and politicians in Memphis and other major US cities braced for widespread protests.
Nichols’ family encouraged the protests, but wants demonstrators to remain peaceful.
“If you’re here for me and Tyre, you’ll protest peacefully,” his mother RowVaughn Wells said at vigil on Thursday night, the New York Times reported.
“We don’t tear up our cities, because we do have to live in them.”
Although all the officers are Black, many commentators have said their conduct was still likely influenced by institutional racism in the criminal justice system.
Prominent civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who’s representing Nichols’ family, was disgusted by the beating.
Still, he was happy with the speed at which the officers were charged and the footage was released.
“We want to proclaim that this is the blueprint going forward for any time any officers, whether they be Black or white, will be held accountable,” Crump said, per Reuters.
“No longer can you tell us we got to wait six months to a year.”
The confrontation with the officers began after Nichols was pulled over for suspicion of reckless driving, but police haven’t found any evidence to support those allegations, the New York Times reported.
Nichols was doused with pepper spray before he escaped on foot. Officers then beat Nichols at a second location, which is where he sustained his most serious injuries.
The five fired officers — Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith — were indicted on Friday.
They were all members of the “Scorpion” unit, a group of officers focused on violent crime. Many have called for the unit to be disbanded, a measure the Memphis Police Department is currently considering.
The officers have also been charged with assault, kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression.
All five posted bail and have since been released from custody.
Nichols was a FedEx employee whose friends and family remember him as a skilled photographer and avid skateboarder.
8Rev. Andre E Johnson, of the Gifts of Life Ministries, preaches at a candlelight vigil for NicholsCredit: AP8Justin Smith, one five former officers charged with Nichols’ murderCredit: The Mega Agency8Desmond Mills, one five former officers charged with Nichols’ murderCredit: The Mega Agency8Tadarrius Bean, one five former officers charged with Nichols’ murderCredit: The Mega Agency8Emmitt Martin, one five former officers charged with Nichols’ murderCredit: The Mega Agency8Demetrius Haley, one five former officers charged with Nichols’ murderCredit: The Mega Agency
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk