Tyre Nichols: Video shows cops beating Black man to death
The Memphis Police in the US late Friday released disturbing video footage of five Memphis officers kicking and punching a 29-year-old Black man, Tyre Nichols, who died in the hospital on 10 January, 3 days after being stopped on suspension for reckless driving.
The officers, Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills Jr, Emmitt Martin III, and Justin Smith, also all Black, have been charged with second-degree murder over the incident. They were fired earlier this month after an investigation found them “to be directly responsible for the physical abuse of Nichols”.
The five cops also face charges of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, official operation, and official misconduct.
According to family lawyers Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci, “police brutalised [Nichols] to the point of being unrecognisable.” He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, authorities said, where he succumbed to his injuries.
What Tyre Nichols’ video footage shows:
- The lengthy video footage from a street surveillance camera and police bodycams shows a group of officers detaining Nichols, using a taser to try to take him down, then giving chase as he avoids them.
- One video clip shows officers dragging the man from the driver’s seat of his car.
- At one point, Nichols is shown on the ground with officers around him. He can be heard repeatedly screaming: “Mom, Mom, Mom.”
- The video runs about an hour in total and in one extremely graphic segment, the officers can be seen aiming a number of kicks at Nichols’ face.
According to his lawyers, Nichols’ mother’s home was just 100 yards away from where he was beaten. “My heart just breaks,” the mother RowVaughn Wells said, addressing an emotional press conference earlier Friday. “For a mother to know that their child was calling them in their need, and I wasn’t there for him.”
Nichols had a four-year-old son, worked at FedEx, loved skateboarding and taking photos, and even had a tattoo of his mother’s name on his arm.