Officials Respond To Death of Tyre Nichols, Officers Charged
Body cam footage of the police encounter that left 29-year-old Tyre Nichols of Memphis, Tennessee, is expected to be released sometime this evening, as police in several cities prepare for protests and leaders, including President Joe Biden, ask protesters to remain peaceful.
Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis offered remarks before the release of the video indicating the likely severity of its contents.
“I expect you to feel what the Nichols family feels,” she said. “I expect you to feel outrage in the disregard of basic human rights.”
The five officers involved in the death of Tyre Nichols were fired and face second-degree murder charges. According to Davis, other officers are under investigation for their involvement in the incident.
Officers stopped Nichols on January 7 for allegedly driving recklessly. The incident led to a “police confrontation,” where Nichols fled on foot then a second confrontation occurred.
Three days later, Nichols succumbed to the injuries suffered in the “use-of-force incident with officers,” according to a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation statement, Alisha Ebrahimji reports for CNN.
Nichols suffered “extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating,” according to preliminary results of an autopsy commissioned by attorneys for his family.
The five officers involved in the death of Tyre Nichols, Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr. and Justin Smith were fired and face second-degree murder charges.
According to Police Chief Davis, other officers are under investigation for their involvement in the incident.
In addition, two Memphis firefighters were fired regarding the incident who were involved in the initial care of Nichols following the exchange with the officers.
Several cities expect protests, including Atlanta, Memphis and Washington D.C., where all police personnel will be working 12+ hour shifts to prepare for demonstrations, totaling over 4,000 officers, Samantha Gilstrap reports for Wusa9.
Cities are preparing for protests as the body cam footage’s contents appear especially disturbing, according to warnings from officials.
“I have spoken to several people who have actually seen the video. … I have been told it’s disgusting, it’s damaging; it’s not good even slightly,” Memphis Councilman Frank Colvett, Jr. told FOX13.
With the body cam footage expected sometime today, leaders remind those ready to protest to remain peaceful.
“As Americans grieve, the Department of Justice conducts its investigation, and state authorities continue their work, I join Tyre’s family in calling for peaceful protest,” said President Joe Biden in a statement. “Outrage is understandable, but violence is never acceptable.”
“I join our community leaders in urging a calm and peaceful response to what we have already been warned will be quite disturbing footage,” Memphis Congressman Steve Cohen said in a statement.