Tyre Nichols was beaten by Memphis police officers for three minutes while being treated like “a human piata” in a “savage” incident that was reminiscent of the infamous police beating of Los Angeles driver Rodney King in 1991, the family’s counsel claimed on Monday.
According to attorney Ben Crump, police footage watched by the family on Monday shows Nichols being shocked, pepper sprayed, and detained after the 29-year-old FedEx worker and father was stopped over while coming from a suburban park where he had snapped photos of the sunset on Jan. 7. Another attorney, Antonio Romanucci, claimed that Nichols, a Black man, was kicked before Crump prevented him from saying anything else.
To “make sure to give this family what they want most, which is justice,” Crump said Nichols’ family agreed to investigators’ request to hold off on making the footage public for a week or two. Investigators don’t want to take a chance on jeopardizing the case, Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy said in a statement on Monday.
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Crump claimed that the video demonstrates how “violent” and “troublesome on every level” the interaction was. It was “savage,” according to Romanucci, and out of proportion to the accused act.
Due to the prospect of rioting, the city has been on edge regarding the publication of the police film. Rodney Wells, Nichols’ stepfather, requested that any protests be calm, stating that using violence “is not what Tyre wanted and won’t bring him back.”
Nichols was stopped by police for careless driving after being characterized by family as a “nice kid” who enjoyed skating, photography, and spending time with his 4-year-old son. The day following the encounter, police released a statement in which they claimed that Nichols fled as they approached the car and that “a conflict happened”; as they caught up to him, they said that “another confrontation occurred” while they were arresting him. According to the police, Nichols complained of having trouble breathing and was rushed to the hospital, where he eventually passed away.
Family members claim that the cops beat Nichols, resulting in a heart attack and kidney failure in him. Nichols just had a medical emergency, according to the authorities. The Tennessee Bureau of Probe is investigating whether excessive force was used during the arrest, and the US Justice Department has launched a civil rights investigation into it.
Following a police investigation, it was determined that five of the officers engaged in the arrest used excessive force or did not step in to help. Memphis police director Cerelyn “CJ” Davis made this announcement on Friday. Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr., and Justin Smith were the officers’ names.
Despite the fact that all five of the cops are Black, Crump argued it didn’t matter because Black and Brown drivers frequently receive less favorable treatment than White drivers and that the agony of Nichols’ murder “is just the same.”
Nichols’ stepfather Rodney Wells told reporters that his stepson had a solid reason to flee the authorities and that the family wants the officers to be prosecuted with first-degree murder.
According to Rodney Wells, “Our son fled because he was afraid for his life.” And after watching the footage, you’ll understand why he was terrified for his life.
According to attorneys, Nichols can be heard sobbing frantically for his mother on the video.
According to RowVaughn Wells, her kid was anticipating the chicken she was going to prepare for supper that night on the day of the arrest.
Wells, who sobbed throughout the news conference, claimed Nichols was less than 80 yards (73 meters) from home when Memphis police officers “murdered him.” “All my son was trying to do was come home,” she said.
If that’s my last breath, we’re going to seek justice for my kid Tyre, she declared.
Following the family’s press conference, some ten activists entered Mulroy’s office lobby and demanded to know why the district attorney was keeping the video secret for up to two more weeks and why he hadn’t filed charges against the cops.
Actor Pamela Buress stated, “People want to see what happened to Tyre.” We are upset about it.
The latest high-profile death to shock the community is the Nichols case. Memphis has witnessed several violent crimes since November 2021, including the murder of rapper Young Dolph in a daytime ambush at a bakery, a crime spree in which a man is accused of killing three people and injuring three more, the killing of a United Methodist Church pastor during a carjacking in her driveway, and the early-morning abduction of a jogger whose body was later discovered near a house.
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