Memphis cops on Friday night released footage showing the events leading up to the death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols.
Horrific footage showed the moments he was stopped by police, him fleeing, then the vicious beating when they caught up and the lack of medical care.
Five officers involved in the January 7 incident have been charged with second-degree murder, and fired from the force.
CJ Davis, the well-respected Memphis police chief, said she had never witnessed anything so devastating in her policing career.
Meanwhile Benjamin Crump, an attorney representing the Nichols family, said Nichols was treated like ‘a human piñata’.
The four clips – three from body cameras, one from a surveillance camera attached to a post – have shocked and angered America.
Here DailyMail.com breaks down the footage from start to finish – from the moment he was pulled over to him slumped next to a cop cruiser as EMTs watched on.
8:25PM – THE TRAFFIC STOP
At 8:20pm on January 7, Nichols, who was born in Sacramento and moved to Memphis in February 2020, was driving home from a suburban park, where he had taken photos of the sunset.
He was driving along East Raines Road in south eastern Memphis when he encountered the police. One officer said he was ‘cutting through traffic’.
‘So we just try to get him to stop. He don’t stop,’ an officer told his colleagues, in the body camera footage. ‘Hit the siren. Stop stop stop.
‘Then he drove around, swerved like he gonna hit my car. ‘So then I’m like – goddamn.
‘He pull up to the red light. Stop at the red light. He put his turning signal on. ‘So we jump out the car. ‘S*** went from there.’
At 8:24pm, two officers are seen confronting Nichols in the driving seat of his car, at the intersection between East Raines Road and Ross Road.
Nichols’s car is seen being pulled over at 8:24pm in south eastern Memphis on January 7
One officer orders Nichols: ‘Get the f*** out of the f****** car,’ and wrestles him out.
Nichols can he heard protesting, telling the officer: ‘Damn, I didn’t do anything. Hey, I didn’t.’ The officer tells him: ‘Turn your a** around.’
The officers attempt to push Nichols, father of a four-year-old son, to the ground.
Nichols can be seen objecting, but, when one officer threatens to ‘tase your a**,’ Nichols replies: ‘Alright, I’m on the ground – I’m on the ground.’
He is sitting, and the officer instructs him: ‘Lay down. Get on the f****** ground. I’m going to tase you. ‘I’m going to break your s***.’
Nichols has the Taser prodded into his left thigh, and is told: ‘B****, put your hands behind your back.’
Nichols can be seen wrestling with the two officers, who demand he lies down
The officers attempt to put him in handcuffs, telling him: ‘I’m going to knock your hands the f*** out.’
Nichols replies: ‘OK, you guys are doing a lot right now.’ He tells them: ‘I’m just trying to go home.’
Nichols lived with his mother, RowVaughn Wells, and stepfather Rodney Wells. He worked for FedEx, and was a passionate skateboarder.
The officers continue trying to push him to lie down. Nichols replies, with growing frustration: ‘I am on the ground!’
‘On your stomach!’ an officer replies. ‘I can’t breathe,’ Nichols said. At 8:25pm, there is a commotion, and pepper spray is deployed.
Nichols scrambles to his feet and runs. One officer yells: ‘Taser, taser!’ Nichols continues running, taking his t-shirt partially off as he runs
‘What the f*** man?’ says one of the officers. Nichols scrambles to his feet and runs. One officer yells: ‘Taser, taser!’
Nichols continues running, taking his t-shirt partially off as he runs. ‘Oh s***,’ says one officer, and they both begin running after him, with pepper spray in their eyes.
At 8:26pm the officer radios for help: ‘2938, we’re at Raines and Ross. Taser was deployed. ‘Suspect is running down Ross.’
8:25PM – THE PURSUIT
The two officers do not chase Nichols for long. Both have pepper spay in their faces – one in both eyes, the other missing his eyes but getting in his eyebrows.
The body camera footage shows the pair of them walking back to their two patrol cars at 8:27pm, with one having to guide the other, who is having trouble seeing.
He fetches water from his colleague’s patrol car, and begins pouring water into his eyes while he stands with his head tilted upwards, hands in his pockets.
The officer wearing the body camera tells him the taser shot caught Nichols. ‘One of the prongs hit the b******,’ he said.
The officer searches for his glasses, which have got knocked off in the chaos.
At 8:29pm, as they continue to catch their breath, and the officer repeatedly pours water into his colleague’s eyes, another officer drives up in an unmarked car.
The driver rolls down his window and asks: ‘Which way’d he run?’ ‘That way,’ he replies, and points.
The driver switches on his sirens, floors the accelerator and roars off.
The officer proceeds to find his glasses, then wind in his taser wires, while his colleague recovers, and pours more water in his face.
At 8:31pm, a sheriff’s patrol car arrives with its lights flashing. ‘That way,’ the officer tells him. ‘Thin male, black, blue jeans and a plaid jacket.’
The sheriff drives off at speed, with his sirens blaring. At 8:32pm, the officer announces to his colleague: ‘They found him.’
8:33PM – THE CAPTURE
His colleague, not hearing, says at 8:33pm: ‘They got him.’ The body camera officer tells his colleague: ‘Martin and all them are over there chasing him.’
He appears to be referencing Emmitt Martin III, one of the five indicted officers. His colleague exclaims: ‘I sprayed myself.’
‘You sprayed me too! Luckily it didn’t get in my eyes, just on my eyebrow.’
He adds: ‘I hope they stomp his a**. I hope they stomp his a**. Smith has called for other cars because him and Martin are chasing him.’
Smith would appear to be Justin Smith, another of the five.
One minute before, at 8:33pm , other officers tell the Memphis Police dispatch that they are catching up with Nichols
At 8:34pm, the officer decides his eyes have recovered sufficiently, and puts his body armor back on. ‘Are you sure?’ his colleague asks.
He gets into the driving seat, telling the bodycam wearer: ‘Stay right with the car.’ ‘OK, I gotcha,’ he replies, and at 8:34pm the officer drivers away to catch up with Nichols.
One minute before, at 8:33pm, other officers tell the Memphis Police dispatch that they are catching up with Nichols.
‘2930 we can see him. We’re on foot pursuit southbound on Ross and Castlegate Lane,’ says one officer, as heard on the body camera footage.
As he comes round the corner, behind a parked car, two officers can be seen kneeling over Nichols, who appears to be on the floor.
‘I didn’t do anything!’ Nichols yells. The officer tells him: ‘Shut the f*** up. Give me your hands.’ The body camera officer says: ‘You wanna get sprayed again?’
8:33PM – PEPPER SPRAYED
Nichols is on the floor, with at least three officers now pinning him down.
At the mention of the pepper spray, one officer exclaims: ‘Woah, woah, woah!’
Nichols screams as pepper spray gets in his eyes, and writhes, trying to get away.
The officer walks away, after the pepper spray is deployed as the cops are forced to wash out their own eyes
One officer pushes him onto his back, yelling: ‘Get on your knees.’ Nichols is lying on his side, and yells: ‘Mom!’ The home he shares with his mother is nearby.
‘Give me your hands. Give me your f****** hands,’ the officer commands, and Nichols replies: ‘Alright, alright.’
Another officer runs into sight, and someone says: ‘Watch out. Spray’ Pepper spray is deployed again, getting into the face of at least one officer.
‘Ah, s***,’ he says, walking away. ‘Ah, s***.’ The other officers can be heard yelling at Nichols to give them his hands. Nichols yells for his mother.
8:34PM – THE BEATING BEGINS
Two officers are now trying to get Nichols’ hands behind his back. Nichols tries to push himself up on his right arm, leaning on his right side.
A third officer walks over, and, pausing to get full force, brings his right leg back and kicks him in the top half of his body. Nichols is now lying on his back.
The officer who kicked moves to the top of Nichols’s body, and again kicks him with his right leg, this time in the head.
A third officer walks over, and, pausing to get full force, brings his right leg back and kicks him in the top half of his body. Nichols is now lying on his back
8:34PM – BATON DRAWN
At 8:34pm, an officer commands: ‘Give me your hands! Turn around! Lay back!’
The officer with the body camera returns to the tussling men and Nichols, and pulls his baton out of its holder, clasping it in his right hand.
‘Watch out – I’m going to baton the f*** out of you,’ he tells Nichols. He beats him, then walks away at 8:35pm, baton still in his right hand.
The officer with the body camera returns to the tussling men and Nichols, and pulls his baton out of its holder, clasping it in his right hand
8:35PM – SIX SUCKER PUNCHES
Blows begin raining down on Nichols.
A fourth officer is now seen arriving, with his right arm raised. Nichols is still pinned to the floor by three officers, struggling and kicking.
The officer with the raised arm careful, deliberately and powerfully punches Nichols in the head, taking his time to get enough force.
At 8:35pm , Nichols is punched by the same officer a second time, and then dragged to his feet
At 8:35pm, Nichols is punched by the same officer a second time, and then dragged to his feet.
He appears unable to stand, and is wobbling around. Officers are holding his wrists behind his back.
An officer then takes a huge swing, and punches him, while he is held up, arms behind his back.
Nichols is reeling – he is still on his feet, but unsteady, and being held by the officers.
The officers punch him again, in the stomach – then the same officer punches him a second and third time. He has now been punched six times.
Nichols slumps to the floor – his right leg outstretched, left leg bent at the knee. Three officers are on him now; he appears to be kneeling.
At 8:36pm, another officer runs into view. He kicks Nichols in the ribs – a third kick, to go with the six sucker punches.
Officers wrestle with Nichols, lying on the ground
8:38PM – LEFT TO HIS FATE
The officers then seem to lose interest in Nichols. He is handcuffed, and at 8:38pm is dragged to sit up against the patrol car, his legs straight ahead of him.
Shattered, Nichols is unable to sit. He writhes and twitches, but the officers are uninterested. They seem pleased with themselves.
At 8:39pm, two of the officers fist-bump each other, by the hood of the patrol car.
Nichols is seen propped up against the car, bloodied and barely conscious
Nichols is seem propped up against the car, with no one checking on him
At 8:40pm, a different set of officers with exchange a congratulatory fist-bump.
As Nichols thrashes around – at times on the floor, at times propped up, writhing and flailing his legs – they ignore him.
They are more concerned with locating their missing equipment lost during the tussle.
‘What the f*** is wrong with my radio, man?’ asks one, at 8:41pm. ‘You seen my flashlight?’ another asks at 8:46pm.
The officers – there are by now at least a dozen on the scene – seem relaxed. At 8:49pm, one lights a cigarette.
The officers – many of them wearing the uniform of the Scorpions unit – stand around and chat while Nichols moans
Nichols lies on the ground – slumped against the car. By now the officers have largely lost interest
A few minutes later, still milling around, they stop to exchange stories, and laugh. At 8:52pm a group of around four are seen in animated, chuckling conversation.
They excitedly recap the incident, with one telling his colleague: ‘You was running. You looking like Stevie Wonder, man.’
Nichols can occasionally be heard moaning in the background, when one of the officers passes by.
Two EMTs appear to be standing by, with bags of equipment, but chat among themselves, paying little attention to him.
The officers dismiss Nichols, repeatedly, as ‘high as a kite’. The EMTs do not seem concerned with investigating further.
9PM – AMBULANCE ARRIVES
Twenty four agonizing minutes after the police beating stopped, an ambulance finally arrives at 9pm precisely.
It is not clear why it took almost half an hour for medical aid to arrive. Nichols is put on a stretcher and taken to hospital. He will die three days later.
Tyre Nichols, 29, was brutally beaten like a ‘human piñata’ by five Memphis, Tennessee, police officers , who were all African American, on January 7 and died three days later in the hospital from kidney failure and cardiac arrest
‘They’re just as guilty’: Tyre Nichols’ stepfather calls for charges against paramedics who failed to aid 29-year-old for 20 MINUTES before finally tending to him as he slumped on the ground – as two more cops suspended
- Tyre Nichols’ stepfather called for criminal charges against the paramedics
- Two paramedics appeared to stand by for 20 minutes before rendering aid
- One repeatedly asked Nichols if he was on drugs; Nichols was unable to speak
- Cops milled about and cracked wise as Nichols twitched on the pavement
- Nichols died of his injuries three days after the police beating in Memphis
The stepfather of Tyre Nichols has called for criminal charges against the paramedics who appeared to stand by after he was savagely beaten by police, while two deputies who responded after the altercation also face investigation.
Released on Friday, video of the January 7 incident in Memphis shows at least 10 cops and two paramedics milling about casually for nearly 20 minutes as Nichols lies on the ground critically injured. He died in hospital three days later.
‘Everyone — the fire department, paramedics that came out that stood around and didn’t do anything — they’re just as guilty,’ Nichols’ stepfather Rodney Wells told ABC News following the release of the video.
‘Everyone that was active in the whole scene, the whole video, should be charged,’ he added. Five Memphis cops have already been charged with second-degree murder.
Meanwhile, the sheriff of Shelby County, which includes Memphis, said that after viewing the video, he is suspending two deputies who responded to the scene following the beating, which began with a traffic stop.
Tyre Nichols’ stepfather Rodney Wells (above) has called for criminal charges against the paramedics who appeared to fail to render aid after he was savagely beaten by police
Two paramedics are seen standing over Nichols as he flops on the pavement, unable to speak or sit up, following the January 7 beating by police that began with a traffic stop
Timeline of medical aid for Nichols
8.36pm: The police beating concludes and Nichols is in handcuffs.
8.41pm: Paramedics arrive on the scene.
8.47pm: Paramedic asks Nichols what drugs he took. Nichols is unable to speak and gurgles in response.
For another 10 minutes they stand by as he twitches on the pavement.
8.57pm: Paramedics begin rendering some kind of aid, appearing to bandage Nichols.
9pm: Ambulance arrives to transport Nichols
Sheriff Floyd Bonner Jr. said in a statement: ‘Having watched the videotape for the first time tonight, I have concerns about two deputies who arrived on the scene following the physical confrontation between police and Tyre Nichols.’
Bonner said he had launched an internal investigation into the two deputies, adding that they had been relieved of duty pending the outcome of the probe.
The video raises disturbing questions about the apparent lack of action from first responders to treat Nichols after he was kicked and punched in the head, struck three times with a metal baton, and twice sprayed with pepper spray in the face.
Paramedics arrived on the scene about five minutes after the assault on Nichols concluded, at which point he was handcuffed and slumped against the side of a car.
The video shows a paramedic leaning over Nichols asking: ‘What’d you have? We’re trying to get you straight, what’d you have?’
Nichols is heard making a gurgling noise, but appears unable to speak, although he had been heard speaking clearly and relatively calmly before the assault.
Officers at the scene were heard remarking that Nichols was ‘on something’ and ‘high as a kite’ as they wisecracked after the assault.
Cops may have advised the paramedics that Nichols was on drugs, though no evidence that he was has emerged in the weeks following the assault.
Paramedics arrive on the scene about five minutes after the beating, but do not seem to render immediate aid to Nichols, after cops claimed he was high on drugs
A paramedic is seen leaning over Nichols asking, ‘What’d you have? We’re trying to get you straight, what’d you have?’ He is unable to respond and makes a gurgling noise
Police and paramedics stand by as Nichols is sprawled handcuffed on the pavement
Aside from these inquiries about drugs, paramedics appeared to offer little aid as Nichols sprawled unresponsive on the pavement, unable to sit up on his own, and unable to speak.
The video does not appear to show the paramedics checking vital signs such as blood pressure, and as they left Nichols flopping on the pavement, his head struck the hubcap of the car at least once.
Finally, about 20 minutes after the assault concluded, and about 15 minutes after they first arrived on the scene, the paramedics can be seen removing some kind of equipment from their kits and leaning over Nichols to treat him.
About five later, an ambulance pulled up and removed a stretcher to transport Nichols.
Nichols died in intensive care on January 10 after suffering cardiac arrest and kidney failure as a result of his injuries.
In addition to the paramedics, sworn police officers have a duty to render aid, and the five officers charged in the incident were fired from the Memphis police department for their failure to do so.
Finally, about 20 minutes after the assault concluded, and about 15 minutes after they first arrived on the scene, the paramedics can be seen removing some kind of equipment from their kits and leaning over Nichols to treat him
Finally at 9pm, an ambulance pulled up and removed a stretcher to transport Nichols
The five cops who were fired and charged are Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr, and Justin Smith.
They are charged with second-degree murder, assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression.
Memphis Police Director Cerelyn ‘CJ’ Davis has said other officers are under investigation for their part in the arrest.
Davis described the five officers’ actions as ‘heinous, reckless and inhumane.’
The video released on Friday night shows Nichols, 29, crying out for his mother multiple times during the brutal January 7 assault, which took place just a few blocks from his home.
‘Mom! Mom!’ screams Nichols as he is pinned to the ground by multiple officers, pepper sprayed in the face, kicked and punched in the head, and struck with a metal baton.
The video shows police rained at least nine blows down on the FedEx worker while screaming profanities throughout the nearly four-minute altercation.
Throughout the videos, officers make claims about Nichols that are not supported by the footage, or what the district attorney or other officials have said about the case.
Charged with second degree murder are (top, left to right) Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, and (bottom, left to right) Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith
In one of the videos, an officer claims that during the initial traffic stop Nichols wrestled for his gun before fleeing. The video does not depict such an incident.
After Nichols is in handcuffs and leaning against a police car, several officers claimed that he must have been high.
Later, an officer says no drugs were found in his car, and another officer immediately counters that Nichols must have ditched something while he was running away.
The footage has been widely condemned by police departments and unions across the country.
The national president of the Fraternal Order of Police issued a scathing statement in response to the video of police beating Nichols.
Patrick Yoes said the officers’ physical confrontation with Nichols ‘does not constitute legitimate police work or a traffic stop gone wrong.’
Instead, Yoes called it a ‘criminal assault under the pretext of law.’