Video of the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols, the 29-year-old man who died three days after a traffic stop by police, was released on Friday Jan. 27, by Memphis officials.
The video shows officers blow by blow, kick by kick, “deplorable, excessive use of for by police like we haven’t witnessed since the likes of the Rodney King video,” the family attorney, Ben Crump said on CNN Friday.
“I think they were on 10-plus the whole video,” Crump said to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
“It was so unnecessary so uncalled for that they continued to escalate the matter and you were hoping and praying one officer would say ‘hey everybody, this kid isn’t a criminal,’ but that never happened,” Crump said.
According to Los Angeles Times, Nichols was hospitalized in critical condition and died three days after Memphis police officers stopped him on Jan. 7. Details about what occurred between Nichols and the officers have been sparse; police initially said that Nichols fled on foot during the reckless driving stop and that a “confrontation” occurred in an effort to detain him.
However, Memphis Police Chief C.J. Davis said on CNN early Friday that an investigation and review of available camera footage could not “substantiate the reckless driving” claim.
“It doesn’t mean that something didn’t happen. But there’s no proof. The cameras didn’t pick up,” she said.
“As far as I know today, I do believe that the stop itself was very questionable,” she said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Friday.
Nichols’ family was offered a private viewing of the video Monday. His mother, RowVaughn Wells, made it only through the first minute, family attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci said.
The family has scheduled a news conference with its attorneys Friday to address recent developments in the case.
“Our family is grief-stricken right now and this is very hard to swallow,” Wells said at a candlelight vigil in Memphis’ Tobey Park on Thursday night.
Meanwhile, the Memphis community is bracing for potential protests in response to the video release, with Memphis-Shelby County Schools canceling after-school activities Friday and Southwest Tennessee Community College moving to virtual classes Friday.
Wells warned of the contents of the video, called it “horrific,” and asked people to protest in peace after its release. “I don’t want us burning up our cities, tearing up the streets, because that’s not what my son stood for,” she said.
Wells spoke on her heartbreak during an interview with CNN, saying by the time she got to the hospital and saw Nichols following the arrest, “He was already gone.”
“They had beat him to a pulp. He had bruises all over him, his head was swollen like a watermelon, his neck was busting because of the swelling, they broke his neck, my son’s nose looked like an “S”, she said.
FBI Director Christopher Wray on Friday spoke on the video of Nichols’ arrest during a separate news conference, saying that “I’ve seen the video myself and I will tell you I was appalled.”
Video of the encounter will be released after 6 p.m. local time Friday, officials said. Memphis police chief Cerelyn “C.J.” Davis said Thursday that she expected citizens to be outraged by what she called the “heinous, reckless and inhumane” conduct captured in the video. She said she expected people to protest and called on them to remain peaceful.
Five Memphis police officers Justin Smith, Emmitt Martin III, Demetrius Haley, Tadarrius Bean and Desmond Mills Jr., were charged with second-degree murder, two counts of official misconduct, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, one count of official oppression and one count of aggravated assault, CNN reported.