The footage showed Tyre Nichols getting punched, hit with a baton, looked like he got kicked in the face, and got irritant sprayed on him. They also got footage of him pleading with them to take him home and calling out for his mother.
On January 27, 2022, a release of the bodycam video took place.
It captures Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old FedEx carrier, yelling “Mum, Mum” over and over as he was viciously attacked by five police officers on January 7, 2023. He had a cardiac arrest and kidney failure before passing away three days later, on January 10, from “extensive bleeding induced by a severe beating,” according to the preliminary autopsy findings.
Four videos of his fatal arrest were released by Memphis officials leading to widespread outrage in the US, as the officers are even heard bragging about the horrific onslaught.
One officer boasts: “I was hitting him with straight haymakers, dog” whilst another says: “I’m gonna baton the f*** out of him.”
In other footage, one police officer repeatedly lands punches to a defenceless Nichols’ head and body while two colleagues hold him upright, with a number of upper cuts rocking back his head.
Another sickening video shows one officer kick Nichols with force to his head as he is being held on the ground by two others.
In further disturbing scenes, Nichols calls out for his mum and, at different points pleads: “I didn’t do anything”, “I’m just trying to go home” and “Stop, I’m not doing anything.”
But the relentless beating, including pepper spraying and tasering, continues.
Nichols had initially been pulled over for a traffic stop by law enforcement on January 7 in Memphis, Tennessee, for what was reported as reckless driving.
Then there followed two altercations with the officers.
District Attorney Steve Mulroy said that pepper spray was deployed in the first altercation and Nichols’ fatal injuries occurred in the second.
He was eventually taken away by an ambulance but died three days later.
Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis said that the beating could be worse than that inflicted on Rodney King in 1991 by four white Los Angeles Police Department officers.
Davis said on CNN: “I was in law enforcement during the Rodney King incident and it’s, you know, very much aligned with that same type of behaviour. I would say it is about the same if not worse.”
The five police officers involved in the attack – Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmit Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith – have since been charged with second-degree murder.
They were also charged with aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct, official oppression and aggravated assault.
Of the five charged officers, Mulroy alleged: “While each of the five individuals played a different role in the incident in question, the actions of all of them resulted in the death of Tyre Nichols, and they are all responsible.”
All of the officers were fired from their jobs last week.
After watching the video of the assult, US President Joe Biden said: “Like so many, I was outraged and deeply pained to see the horrific video of the beating that resulted in Tyre Nichols’ death.”
He also declared that the Nichols’ family deserve a full, transparent and swift investigation.
Watch the horrific video below.