Tyre Nichols: Video Footage Released

Recently released video footage from police body cameras show the violent altercation with Memphis police that led to Tyre Nichol’s death.

The Memphis police officers who were fired and charged for their involvement in the death of Tyre Nichols. From top left: Preston Hemphill, Tadarrius Bean, Demetruis Haley, Justin Smith, Emmit Martin III, and Desmond Mills Jr. (Credit: The Washington Post).

Tyre Nichols was arrested and beaten by Memphis police, escalating into a violent confrontation. Nichols was hospitalized in critical condition and died three days later.

Following his death, the five police officers involved were fired and charged with second-degree murder, among other felonies. A sixth officer was later fired, with another being suspended. Additionally, three fire department employees were fired and two sheriff’s deputies were taken off duty.

On Jan. 7, Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man, was stopped for alleged reckless driving. Following a physical confrontation, Nichols fled. According to the Memphis police statement, “another confrontation” occurred, where Nichols was arrested.

On Jan. 27, footage from the officers’ body cameras and a street camera was released. The footage totals almost an hour and shows parts of the confrontations.

Based on the videos, an initial altercation occurred, with the police officers trying to get Nichols out of his car, though the reason is not stated. The officers are seen shouting profanities at Nichols while holding him down.

Nichols tells the police apprehending him that “You guys are really doing a lot right now.”

Officers fire a taser at him and pepper sprays him before Nichols breaks free and runs away.

The officers pursue Nichols and are later seen in a neighborhood close to Nichols’ home. In the footage, officers are seen holding Nichols down while kicking him. Two officers hold him up, while a third and fourth strike his face and torso. Another officer can be seen using a baton to deliver blows.

Memphis police officers beat Tyre Nichols on a street corner in this image taken from street camera footage (Credit: CNN).

Eventually, he is dragged up to lean against a car for almost 20 minutes, without any attempts to administer aid. He is eventually taken to Memphis St. Francis Hospital by ambulance.

The following autopsy report stated that Nichols suffered “extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating.”

“It is concerning and disappointing that this is still happening even after the major movements sparked by previous police brutality cases,” said sophomore Valerie Lan. “Police departments should be under harsher scrutiny to make sure things like this don’t happen.”

“Despite all the protests pushing for social reform, we still have not learned from the lesson we sought to resolve,” said sophomore Ashely Dong.

The five officers charged, identified as Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr., and Justin Smith, were part of the Memphis Scorpion Unit, which was permanently disbanded by the Memphis State Police on January 28.

Though the specialized unit was intended to ease a surge in violence within the city, members of the 40-officer unit were reported to intimidate, harass, and use force against residents.

The five officers were charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct, and official oppression. Second-degree murder charges alone are punishable by up to 60 years in prison.

“I’m glad the police officers are getting held accountable for murder,” said sophomore Danni Zheng.

The licenses of the two EMTs on the scene, Robert Long and JaMichael Sandridge, were temporarily suspended, as well as lieutenant Michelle Whitaker. Long and Sandridge were seen standing around, Whitaker never getting out of the fire truck.

None of them treated Nichols for almost 20 minutes after arriving.
Nichols’ funeral was held at the Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis on Feb. 1, with support from people nationwide.


A memorial for Tyre Nichols built near the place he was beaten by Memphis police officers (Credit: The New York Times).