A body camera video capturing the deadly police beating of Tyre Nichols by Memphis police shows a police officer getting out of his car with his gun immediately drawn while another officer yells for Tyre Nichols to “Get the fuck out of the car.”
Nichols is heard saying, “I didn’t do anything,” and later, as he gets on the ground, “All right, I’m on the ground.” Then, another officer yells, “Bitch, put your hands behind your back before I… I’m going to knock your ass the fuck out.” Nichols innocuously responds, “I’m just trying to go home.”
While Nichols is on the ground and not fighting back, another body camera captures an officer yelling at Nichols, “I’m going to baton the fuck out of you." Meanwhile, another police officer is heard saying, “Do you want to be sprayed again,” while Nichols is on the ground and yelling for his mom.
The city of Memphis released the four-part footage on Vimeo.
Officers struck Tyre Nichols nine times in under four minutes
“He was his own person and didn’t care if he didn’t fit into what a traditional Black man was supposed to be in California. He had such a free spirit and skating gave him his wings,” Paxton said.
“Tyre was someone who knew everyone, and everyone had a positive image of him because that’s who he was,” Paxton said. “Every church knew him; every youth group knew him.”
When Paxton found out about Nichols’ death, she crumbled, she told CNN affiliate WMC. “My knees gave out,” she told WMC. “I just fell because I could not believe that someone with such light was taken out in such a dark way.”
As internal police investigations continue into the deadly police beating of a 29-year-old Black man in Memphis, public servants involved in Tyre Nichols’ traffic stop and brutal confrontation are facing repercussions – some as severe as murder charges – and more fallout is possible.
“We are looking at everybody who had any kind of involvement in this incident,” Shelby County District Attorney Steven Mulroy told CNN days after release of public body camera and surveillance footage in the January 7 encounter. “We’re looking at everybody.”
Five black officers are due to be arraigned February 17 after they were fired January 20, then indicted on seven counts each, including second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping and official misconduct. A sixth officer, who is White, was fired and disciplined for violating policies in the Nichols case, while a seventh officer who has not been publicly identified is on administrative leave and under investigation.
All the fired officers were part of the force’s SCORPION unit – created to tackle rising crime in the city and disbanded amid national outcry following Nichols’ death – the department has confirmed. Those charged are accused of assaulting another young Black man three days before the Nichols encounter, states a federal lawsuit filed February 7 that also alleges the city failed to prevent or address an alleged pattern of policing abuses in the SCORPION unit; the city didn’t immediately respond, and the department wouldn’t comment. Further, the charged officers are accused of internal police misconduct and policy violations – including making false statements about Nichols’ arrest and bragging about the beating.
An internal investigation concluded that the two EMTs “failed to conduct an adequate patient assessment of Mr. Nichols” after responding based on both the initial call – in which they heard a person was pepper-sprayed – and information they were told at the scene, Sweat said in a news release. Whitaker had remained in the fire truck, according to the chief’s statement. The fire department said earlier this month that the two EMTs had been suspended pending an internal investigation.
The truck carrying the EMTs arrived at the second scene at about 8:41p.m. to find Nichols on the ground leaning against a police vehicle, and called for an ambulance at 8:46 p.m. the fire department said. The ambulance arrived at 8:55 p.m. and left with Nichols 13 minutes later, according to the fire department. Pole-camera video released Friday shows that between the time the EMTs arrived and the ambulance arrived, first-responders repeatedly walked away from Nichols, with Nichols intermittently falling onto his side.
“All of these officers failed their oath,” said Crump, one of the attorneys representing the Nichols family. “They failed their oath to protect and serve.”