Tire Nichols video shows brutal 3-minute caning by police – Boston News, Weather, Sports

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Memphis authorities released video footage on Friday showing Tire Nichols being beaten by police officers who held down the black motorist and repeatedly hit him with their fists, boots and batons as he yelled for his mother and begged, “I just want to go home.”

The video is riddled with violent moments as the cops, who are also black, chase and beat Nichols, leaving him on the sidewalk propped up against a squad car as they fist bump and celebrate their actions.

The footage surfaced a day after officers were charged with murder in Nichols’ death. The horrific images of yet another black man being beaten to death by police provoked difficult questions about the country’s policing culture and raised the specter of renewed protests less than three years after a wave of demonstrations swept the country.

The footage shows police brutally beating the 29-year-old FedEx worker for three minutes while shouting profanities at him during the attack. The Nichols family legal team has compared the attack to the infamous 1991 police beating of motorist Rodney King in Los Angeles.

After the first officer roughly pulls Nichols out of a car, Nichols can be heard saying, “I didn’t do anything,” as a group of officers begin to wrestle him to the ground.

“Get on the ground!” yells one officer while another yells, “Tase him! Tase him!”

Nichols calmly replied shortly after he was wrestled onto the sidewalk, “Okay, I’m on the floor.” Moments later, as officers continue to yell, Nichols says, “Man, I’m on the floor.”

An officer yells, “Put your hands behind your back before I break (expletive) you.” 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 it, I’m not doing anything,” he yells a moment later.

The camera is covered briefly and then you can see Nichols running while an officer fires a taser at him. The officers then begin chasing Nichols.

Other officers are called and a search ensues before Nichols is caught at another intersection. The officers beat him again, this time with a baton, and kicked and beat him.

Surveillance camera footage shows three officers surrounding Nichols as he lies on the street between police cars, with a fourth officer nearby.

Two officers pin Nichols to the ground while he moves, and then the third appears to kick him in the head. Nichols slumps lower onto the sidewalk with all three cops around him. The same officer kicks him again.

The fourth officer then walks over, unfolds a baton and holds it at shoulder level while two officers hold Nichols upright as if he were seated.

“I’m going to beat you up,” an officer is heard saying. His body cam shows him raising his baton while at least one other officer holds Nichols down. The officer hits Nichols on the back with the baton. He hits him again and then a third time.

The other officers then appear to be hoisting Nichols to his feet, with him wriggling like a doll and barely able to stand up despite his supporting arms.

An officer then slaps him in the face while the officer with the baton continues to threaten him. Nichols stumbles and turns, still held by two officers. The cop who hit him then walks around to Nichols’ front and hits him three more times. Then Nichols collapses.

Two officers are then seen on Nichols on the ground for about 40 seconds, with a third nearby. Then three more officers run over and one kicks Nichols to the ground.

At one point, with Nichols slumped against a car and none of the officers providing assistance, body cam footage shows a first-person view of one of them reaching down and tying his shoelace.

It was more than 20 minutes after Nichols was beaten and lying on the sidewalk before he was given any type of medical attention, although two firefighters with medical kits arrived at the scene within 10 minutes.

Cities across the country were preparing for large demonstrations. Nichols’ family urged supporters to protest peacefully.

Memphis Police Director Cerelyn Davis described the officers’ actions as “despicable, reckless and inhumane” and said her department was unable to substantiate the reckless driving allegation that led to the stop.

She told The Associated Press in an interview that there was no video from the traffic stop showing Nichols reckless driving.

During the first stop, video shows officers “had already ramped up to about 10,” she said. The officers were “aggressive, loud, used profane language and probably frightened Mr. Nichols from the start.”

Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells, warned supporters about the “terrifying” nature of the video but pleaded for peace.

“I don’t want us to burn down our city and tear up the streets because that’s not what my son stood for,” she said Thursday. “If you are here for me and Tyre, you will protest peacefully.”

President Joe Biden said at the White House on Friday he was “very concerned” about the prospect of violence and called for peaceful protests.

Biden said he spoke to Nichols’ mother earlier in the day and told her he would “take a case” with Congress to pass the George Floyd Act “to get this under control.” The stalled legislation aims to tackle police misconduct and excessive force and promote federal and state accountability.

Court records showed all five former officers – Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills Jr., Emmitt Martin III and Justin Smith – were taken into custody.

The officers are each charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, administrative misconduct, and administrative repression. According to court and prison documents, four of the five officers had posted bail and been released from custody Friday morning.

Second-degree murder carries a penalty of 15 to 60 years in prison under Tennessee law.

Patrick Yoes, the national president of the Fraternal Order of Police, condemned the alleged actions of the Memphis officers.

“The incident reported to us does not constitute legitimate police work or a traffic stop gone awry. This is a criminal attack under the guise of the law,” Yoes said in a statement.

Rallies and demonstrations were planned in Memphis, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, New York City, Portland, Oregon and Washington on Friday night.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a former police officer, said he and other mayors across the country were notified by the White House ahead of the video’s release, which he said “would bring pain and sadness to many of us. It will make us angry.”

Romanucci and civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who also represents the Nichols family, called on the police chief to disband the department’s so-called scorpion unit, which focuses on street crime.

Davis said other officers are still being investigated for violating department guidelines. In addition, she said a “full and independent review” of the department’s specialized units was being carried out, without giving further details.

While the state and federal investigations continue, Davis pledged the “full and complete cooperation” of the police department.


Associated Press reporter Aaron Morrison in New York; Travis Loller in Nashville, Tennessee; and Rebecca Reynolds of Lexington, Kentucky contributed to this report.

(Copyright (c) 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed, or redistributed.)

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https://whdh.com/news/tyre-nichols-video-shows-brutal-3-minute-beating-by-police/ Tire Nichols video shows brutal 3-minute caning by police – Boston News, Weather, Sports

Sarah Y. Kim

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