Alwaght- The US Police has released shocking video of the violent encounter between Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man, and the five police officers charged with murder in his beating death earlier this month in the city of Memphis.
The footage from police body-worn and dashboard cameras was posted on Friday evening on the city’s Vimeo site, a day after the officers were charged with second-degree murder, assault, kidnapping, official misconduct and oppression.
One video clip shows officers dragging Nichols from the driver’s seat of his car as he yells, “Damn, I didn’t do anything … I am just trying to go home”, and force him to the ground as they order him to lay on his stomach, then squirt him in the face with pepper spray.
“Get on the ground,” one officer yells, as another is heard yelling, “Tase him! Tase him!”
Nichols calmly replied soon after being wrestled to the pavement, “OK, I’m on the ground”. Then, as the officers continue to yell, Nichols says, “Man, I am on the ground.”
An officer yells, “Put your hands behind your back before I break your [expletive].” Moments later, an officer yells, “[Expletive], put your hands behind your back before I break them”.
“You guys are really doing a lot right now,” Nichols says loudly to the officers. “I’m just trying to go home.”
“Stop, I’m not doing anything,” he yells a moment later.
Nichols breaks free, scrambles to his feet and sprints off down a road with officers in pursuit, firing stun guns at him.
Nichols screams for his mom as the video shows the officer arriving on the scene at a second location, in a residential neighborhood.
A separate video shows a subsequent struggle after officers catch up with Nichols again, and are beating him. Two officers are seen holding him down as a third one kicks him and a fourth delivers blows with what appears to be a rod before another punches Nichols.
The four segments of highly anticipated footage from police body-worn and dashboard cameras were posted online Friday evening a day after the officers were charged with second-degree murder, assault, kidnapping, official misconduct and oppression.
The officers had already been dismissed from the police department last Saturday following their Jan. 7 confrontation with Nichols after pulling him over.
He succumbed to his injuries and died three days later while hospitalized.
Memphis police chief Cerelyn Davis and lawyers for Nichols' family who watched the video with his relatives before it was released, warned in advance that the images were brutal and likely to cause outrage, while appealing to the public for calm.
"You are going to see acts that defy humanity," Davis told CNN in describing the footage.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, representing Nichols' family, said the last words on the video were Nichols crying out for his mother.
"No mother should go through what I am going through right now, no mother, to lose their child to the violent way that I lost my child," Tyre Nichols' mother, RowVaughn Wells, said on Friday.
The footage was likely to transform Nichols, the father of a 4-year-old described as an affable, accomplished skateboarder who recently enrolled in a photography class, into the next face of the US racial justice movement.
Raised in Sacramento, California, Nichols moved before the coronavirus pandemic to the Memphis area, where he lived with his mother and stepfather and worked at FedEx, taking a break each day to come home for a meal prepared by his mother.