Video shows police kicking, pepper spraying, beating Tyre Nichols after traffic stop
Officers tased, pepper sprayed and brutally beat 29-year-old Tyre Nichols during a Jan. 7 traffic stop, according to video footage released by the city of Memphis Friday.
The footage, which comes from a SkyCop camera and officers’ body cameras, is split into four videos.
Police can be heard yelling at Nichols to get out of his car and forcibly removing him from the car.
The video has been described by law enforcement and attorneys for Nichols’ family as “absolutely appalling,” “alarming,” and “unconscionable.”
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The first video is from an officer’s body camera and lasts about 11 minutes. It shows officers pulling Nichols out of a car as he yells, “I didn’t do anything.”
“Get on the fuckin’ ground,” an officer yells. “I’m gonna tase your ass.”
“I’m on the ground, I’m on the ground,” Nichols yells.
An officer can also be heard saying the words “break your shit.”
“You guys are really doing a lot now,” Nichols says seconds before an officer shoots a taser at him and he runs away.
The video shows that several officers were hit by pepper spray deployed by other officers.
The second video, about 30 minutes long, is silent, taken from a SkyCop camera at Castlegate and Bear Creek Lane. The camera swivels to show two officers violently pushing Nichols to the ground on his face as he tries to turn over. Then, a third officer appears to kick Nichols multiple times in the face.
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A fourth officer looks on, before walking over to strike at Nichols with a baton.
Nichols manages to get back on his feet and one of the officers appears to punch him in the face before three officers force him back onto the ground.
More officers come into the frame, with one officer attempting to hold down Nichols’ feet. One officer seems to kick him again.
Then, the officers back away as Nichols lays nearly prone on the ground, moving his legs but unable to get up.
Officers proceed to drag Nichols across the concrete to lean him against a police car. At this point, at least six officers are present.
The minutes stretch on as Nichols lies against the car, with more officers clustering around. At one point, Nichols appears to slump off of the car and lie fully on the ground.
It is not until 28 minutes into the second video that a stretcher is brought for Nichols.
The third video, from a body camera, shows an officer running onto the scene at Castlegate and Bear Creek Lane, then spraying Nichols as he screams on the ground for his mother.
The officer, who appears to have been affected by his own pepper spray, says, “I’m gonna baton the fuck out of you. Give us your hands.”
Other officers can be seen throwing punches.
The fourth video appears to be a repeat of the second.
Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn “C.J.” Davis told CNN she had never seen anything like that footage in her entire career.
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“You’re going to see a disregard for life, duty of care that we’re all sworn to and a level of physical interaction that is above and beyond what is required for law enforcement,” Davis said. “I’m sure as I said before that individuals watching will feel what the family felt. If you don’t, then you’re not a human being. And we all are human beings.”
Nichols died Jan. 10, three days after a traffic stop near his mother’s home and after what Memphis Police called a “confrontation.”
Five officers of the Memphis Police Department were fired and, on Thursday, were each indicted with charges of second-degree murder, aggravated assault-acting in concert, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of official misconduct and one count of official oppression.
This story will be updated.
Katherine Burgess covers county government and religion. She can be reached at email@example.com or followed on Twitter @kathsburgess.
This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: Tyre Nichols videos released