Authorities Release Body Cam Footage of Tyre Nichols' Deadly Encounter With Police

The 29-year-old Black man was severely beaten by Memphis police during a Jan. 7 traffic stop. The involved officers have since been charged with murder.

People attend a candlelight vigil in memory of Tyre Nichols

Image via Getty/Scott Olson

People attend a candlelight vigil in memory of Tyre Nichols

GRAPHIC WARNING: Video in this story may contain content some may find disturbing.

The City of Memphis has released bodycam footage that captured the fatal police beating of Tyre Nichols—a 29-year-old Black man whose death ignited widespread outrage.

“This incident was heinous, reckless, and inhumane, and in the vein of transparency when the video is released in the coming days, you will see this for yourselves,” Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis said in a statement earlier this week. “I expect you to feel what the Nichols family feels, I expect you to feel outrage in the disregard of basic human rights, as our police offers have taken an oath to do the opposite of what transpired on the video.”

The incident took place on Jan. 7, when Memphis police pulled Nichols over for alleged reckless driving. An attorney for the Nichols family claims five officers brutally beat the man for three minutes and treated him like “a human piñata.” Nichols later “complained of having a shortness of breath” and was transported to the hospital in critical condition. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation went on to confirm Nichols had “succumbed to his injuries” just three days later.

The officers involved in the beating were identified as Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith, who were fired from the Memphis Police Department last Thursday. All five men were arrested on charges of second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct, and official oppression. They have since been released on bond.

Memphis police published the footage in four different parts. The Vimeo videos can be viewed below.

Cities across the country began bracing for protests ahead of the video release. White House officials spoke to more than a dozen U.S. mayors on Friday about their preparations.

“Participating mayors shared their perspectives on how important it is to recognize the pain felt by communities across this country, be prepared in advance with a game plan to provide adequate community support, and to reinforce the importance of peace and calm during these difficult moments,” the White House said in a statement.

Nichols’ family has urged the public to keep their demonstrations nonviolent.

“We want peace. We do not want any type of uproar. We do not want any type of disturbance,” Rodney Wells, Tyre Nichols’ stepfather, said Friday night. “Please, please, protest, but protest safely.”

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