Even before second-degree murder charges were filed against each of the five officers accused in the beating of Tyre...
Editor’s Note: This report comes from the Daily Memphian, a peer and partner of Lookout’s, which operates the largest newsroom in Memphis. Lookout brings you this coverage — this on-the-ground, local reporting — to help our readers better understand the context in the case.
These videos contain content that may be upsetting to sensitive viewers. The Daily Memphian is adding it here due to the public’s right to know and overwhelming interest in what exactly happened to Tyre Nichols. For a guide on how to control social media settings for sensitive content, go here.
The graphic and violent police video footage of the attempted arrest leading to Tyre Nichols’ death has been released by the City of Memphis and the Memphis Police Department.
In the footage, Nichols can be seen being restrained, beaten, Tasered and pepper sprayed by MPD officers. Afterward, Nichols is seen lying on the ground as officers can be seen standing around talking and in some cases joking. Although bloody and clearly very injured, Nichols was not given medical attention until 15 minutes after the beating ended.
While the footage shows police aggressively pulling Nichols from his car after being pulled over, it sheds no light on why Nichols was initially pulled over by the police. The earliest moments in the video footage show Nichols’ car already stopped.
Nichols appears to be compliant with police as he’s taken from his vehicle, telling police, “I didn’t do anything” and “I’m just trying to go home.”
Five MPD officers have been arrested and charged with second-degree murder and other charges.
Later on Friday, Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner Jr. said that after viewing the videos for the first time, two sheriff deputies who were at the scene after Nichols’ beating have been suspended. MPD has previously said that other MPD officers are also being investigated.
The Daily Memphian is including shorter, edited versions of the four videos released by MPD, as well as the full versions of the videos at the bottom of this article.
In the first video (Video 1), taken from a body camera on one of the MPD officers, Nichols can be seen being pulled out of his vehicle by an officer and can be heard repeatedly saying, “I didn’t do anything.”
It is unclear in the video why Nichols has been pulled over or why the officers aggressively approach him and pull him from the driver’s seat of the car.
Officers later ask Nichols to “get on the (expletive) ground.” He complies after being threatened with a Taser. Officers tell him to get on the ground again, and he says, “I am just trying to go home. … I am on the ground.”
An officer then yells, “On your stomach.”
As officers begin to Tase him, Nichols is able to get up and run away.
Note: This version of Video 1 is edited for length. The full version is included at the bottom of this article.
In the second video (Video 2), taken from a pole-mounted camera, four police officers have Nichols on the ground and are beating him with their fists, kicking him and, at one point, hitting him with a baton. Nichols appears to be barely moving by the end of the beating. He is bloody and bruised.
Police then drag Nichols across the pavement and prop him against a squad car. Nichols lies on the ground or leans against the car as officers stand around him talking to one another. Numerous times he leans or falls over and is then propped back up by police.
Approximately 15 minutes after the beating ends, what appear to be EMTs enter the video and seem to begin to tend to Nichols. Approximately 25 minutes after the end of the beating, an ambulance pulls up next to Nichols. There is no sound in this video.
Note: This version of Video 2 is edited for length. The full version is included at the bottom of this article.
In the third video (Video 3), officers are in pursuit on foot; they catch up to Nichols and spray a chemical agent into his eyes and face.
Officers can be heard repeatedly saying, “Give me your (expletive) hands.”
One officer threatens to use his baton, and Nichols can be heard moaning. Officers hit Nichols as he calls out, “Mom.” The officers continue to hit Nichols with their fists; it appears they also kick him. He is on the ground much of the time. When he does stand, he is staggering and moaning, arms at his sides.
After the beating ends and Nichols lies on the ground, officers can be seen and heard breathing heavily and talking to one another.
Note: This version of Video 3 is edited for length. The full version is included at the bottom of this article.
In the fourth video (Video 4), there is footage of the beating of Nichols from another officer’s body camera. Officers can be heard yelling, and Nichols can be heard screaming and moaning. Officers can again be heard repeatedly saying, “Give me your (expletive) hands.” One officer threatens to use his baton, and Nichols can be heard moaning.
After Nichols has been leaned up against a squad car, officers in this footage can be heard talking about the pursuit, breathing heavily and, in some moments, seeming to joke with one another.
It’s unclear how many police are on the scene after the beating, but there are at least six officers and maybe as many as eight other people, seemingly from the police department, although Sheriff Bonner noted that sheriff’s deputies were at the scene and have been suspended after Bonner saw the video.
Note: There are two videos below, both taken from the original Video 4 and edited for length. The full version of Video 4 is included at the bottom of this article.
The footage release comes four days after Nichols’ family privately viewed it with city and police officials.
Nichols, 29, was stopped by Memphis Police officers Jan. 7 near the intersection of Raines and Ross Roads. He died Jan. 10 from injuries he sustained in the incident.
The full videos released by MPD are included below.