Tyre Nichols: Bodycam footage shows father-of-one calling for his mother as he is beaten by officers before his death
Memphis Police has released bodycam footage showing the moment Tyre Nichols called for his mother as he was beaten by five officers before he died.
The footage shows police savagely beating the 29-year-old FedEx worker for three minutes while screaming profanities at him throughout the attack.
Police have released four separate videos cut into one hour-long clip.
Memphis police chief Cerelyn Davis told reporters it was from “three different streams”.
She said: “It’s three different sources: body-worn camera, an actual source right there at the scene where the most physical you know abuse occurred and then two other body-worn cameras from the officers at that same scene.”
Ms Davis had earlier asked for calm before the video footage was made public.
“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.”
In the footage, one camera shows the initial police stop at an intersection in Memphis, Tennessee.
“I’m going to baton the (expletive) out you,” one officer can be heard saying. His body camera shows him raise his baton while at least one other officer holds Mr Nichols.
After the first officer roughly pulls Mr Nichols out of his car, the FedEx worker can be heard saying, “I didn’t do anything,” as a group of officers begins to wrestle him to the ground.
“Get on the ground!,” one officer yells, as another is heard yelling: “Tase him! Tase him!”
Mr Nichols calmly replied soon after being wrestled to the pavement: “OK, I’m on the ground.”
Moments later, as the officers continue to yell, Mr Nichols says: “Man, I am on the ground.”
An officer yells: “Put your hands behind your back before I break your (expletive).”
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,” Mr Nichols says loudly to the officers. “I’m just trying to go home.”
“Stop, I’m not doing anything,” he yells moment later.
The camera is briefly obscured and then Mr Nichols can be seen running as an officer fires a Taser at him. The officers then start chasing Mr Nichols.
After the beating, officers milled about for several minutes while Mr Nichols lay propped up against the car, then slumped onto the street.
In footage from one of the cameras Mr Nichols is heard shouting for his mother while police attack him.
The father-of-one is then pepper sprayed and punched in the face.
Ms Davis said the officers were “already ramped up, at about a 10” during the initial stop.
She added the officers were “aggressive, loud, using profane language and probably scared Mr Nichols from the very beginning”.
“We know something happened prior to this officer or these officers getting out of their vehicles… just knowing the nature of officers, it takes something to get them amped up, you know, like that. We don’t know what happened,” she said.
“All we know is the amount of force that was applied in this situation was over the top.”
She also described the officers’ actions as “heinous, reckless and inhumane,” and said that her department has been unable to substantiate the reckless driving allegation that prompted the stop.
Protests have erupted in at least nine cities across the US in the hours since the bodycam footage was released.
Mr Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells, had earlier warned supporters of the “horrific” nature of the video but pleaded for peace saying “tearing up the streets” is “not what my son stood for”.
Demonstrations are taking place in Sacramento in California, Washington DC, Atlanta in Georgia, Boston in Massachusetts, New York, Asheville in North Carolina, Philadelphia in Pennsylvania and Providence in Rhode Island.
Protests are also taking place in Memphis, Tennessee, where Mr Nichols was attacked.
Police in New York City have made at least three arrests at a protest near Times Square.
One arrest was for damage to a police car, a second was for punching a police officer and a third was for an undisclosed reason, a police captain told NBC News.
Police are also documenting any damage to other vehicles as protesters weave through cars. They also confiscated bikes from protesters who were trying to prevent arrests from being made.
Given the likelihood of protests, Ms Davis had told ABC that she and other local officials decided it would be best to release the video later in the day, after schools were dismissed and people were home from work.
New York Mayor Eric Adams, a former police officer, said he and other mayors across the country had been briefed by the White House in advance of the video’s release, which he said would “trigger pain and sadness in many of us. It will make us angry”.
FBI Director Christopher Wray said he was “appalled” by the video and that all FBI field officers have been alerted to work with state and local partners, including in Memphis, “in the event of something getting out of hand”.
US President Joe Biden said in a statement after the footage was released: “Like so many, I was outraged and deeply pained to see the horrific video of the beating that resulted in Tyre Nichols’ death. It is yet another painful reminder of the profound fear and trauma, the pain, and the exhaustion that black and brown Americans experience every single day.
“My heart goes out to Tyre Nichols’ family and to Americans in Memphis and across the country who are grieving this tremendously painful loss.”
He added: “Violence is never acceptable; it is illegal and destructive. I join Mr Nichols’ family in calling for peaceful protest.”
Tyre Nichols’s final words move us to ask important questions
Sometimes, there are no words.
Articulating the loss of a son can stretch the vocabulary in the best of times.
The family of Tyre Nichols find themselves in the absolute worst.
What words can convey how it feels to have a son, your son, battered to death on camera?
As hard as anyone tried at a news conference inside Mount Olive Cathedral in Memphis, maybe the job was done best by Tyre himself.
At the end of the video, he is heard to call out for his mother, three times.
This, a mummy’s boy who had her name tattooed on his arm.
They are his final words on footage that shows him becoming limp, unconscious and clearly in distress.
He was surrounded by police and other medical specialists who stood back rather than stepped in.
His final words were a plea to someone he knew would help, his mum, who lived three blocks from where he was beaten.
RowVaughn, Tyre’s mother, wasn’t aware of it until it emerged on the video. She only knows now because she’s been told – she can’t bring herself to watch the images.
“You have no clue how I feel,” she told a news conference when asked about her son calling out for her.
And, of course, we don’t.
But we are asked to consider how we would feel – by the sense of helplessness and lack of humanity aggravated by the desperate cry of a grown man to his mother.
It helps an audience empathise, as well as sympathise, and that’s important amidst the demands for change.
The case of Tyre Nichols moves us to ask important questions around police culture in the United States.
Mr Biden also said he spoke with Mr Nichols’ mother and stepfather.
He continued: “There are no words to describe the heartbreak and grief of losing a beloved child and young father. Nothing can bring Mr Nichols back to his family and the Memphis community. But Mr and Mrs Wells, Mr Nichols’ son, and his whole family deserve a swift, full, and transparent investigation.”
Before it was made public, Mr Nichols’ family said the “very horrific” footage showed officers savagely beating the FedEx worker for three minutes in an assault their lawyers likened to the Los Angeles police attack on motorist Rodney King in 1991.
Five sacked officers, who are all black, have been charged with second-degree murder and other crimes, including assault, kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression, over Mr Nichols’ death.
They are named Demetrius Haley, Desmond Mills Jr, Emmitt Martin III, Tadarrius Bean and Justin Smith.
Martin’s lawyer, William Massey, and Mills’ lawyer, Blake Ballin, said their clients would plead not guilty. Lawyers for Smith, Bean and Haley could not be reached.
Gwyneth Paltrow wins high-profile civil court case against man who claimed she crashed into him while skiing
Gwyneth Paltrow has won a high-profile civil court case against a man who claimed she crashed into him while skiing.
She was awarded $1 in damages after the jury found retired optometrist Terry Sanderson was “100%” at fault for the skiing accident.
The jurors deliberated for two hours on Thursday after hearing eight days of evidence.
Paltrow, dressed in a navy blazer jacket and striped shirt, did not react when the verdict was announced.
In a statement released after the verdict, she said she was “pleased” with the outcome.
“I felt that acquiescing to a false claim comprised my integrity,” she said.
“I am pleased with the outcome and I appreciate all of the hard work of Judge Holmberg and the jury, and thank them for their thoughtfulness in handling this case.”
Mr Sanderson, 76, sued the Hollywood actress for $300,000 (£242,000), saying the 2016 collision on the slopes of Utah left him with several broken ribs and severe brain injuries.
Paltrow, who is also a lifestyle influencer, denied the claims, alleging Mr Sanderson crashed into her at the Deer Valley resort, and caused her to lose “half a day of skiing”.
She counter-sued him for the awarded amount of $1 and her legal fees.
During the court case in Park City, jurors heard evidence from a variety of medical experts, ski instructors, and members of both Mr Sanderson and Paltrow’s family, including the actress’ children Apple and Moses Martin.
Mr Sanderson said he had become a “self-imposed recluse” after the incident and had been advised never to ski again in case of further injury.
But Paltrow’s lawyers showed photos of him enjoying multiple holidays after the accident.
Oscar-winning actress Paltrow, 50, said she felt “very sorry” for Mr Sanderson but reiterated that she was not “at fault” for the crash.
Mr Sanderson said he had been told by medical experts that travelling would be “healing” for him and that he had struggled during his trips.
Donald Trump indicted: Who is Stormy Daniels and what is former president accused of doing?
Donald Trump has been indicted by a grand jury in New York, making him the first ex-president to face criminal charges.
The case against him centres on a $130,000 (£105,000) payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels during the final days of the 2016 presidential campaign.
Live updates – Prosecutors launch first ever criminal case against former president
What is Trump accused of doing?
Ms Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, claims she had an affair with Mr Trump in 2006, which the former US president denies.
In 2016 when he was running for president, she offered to sell her story to the press.
Mr Trump’s then-lawyer Michael Cohen was notified of her plans, resulting in a $130,000 (£105,000) payment being made to keep Ms Daniels quiet.
Once he was elected, Mr Trump reimbursed Mr Cohen by paying him more than double the original amount. He continued to deny the affair, however.
New York investigators have been looking into the former president’s finances for years – originally led by former District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr.
But when he was replaced with Alvin Bragg in 2022, Mr Bragg decided to drop the grand jury investigation into claims the Trump empire fraudulently inflated its real estate value.
Instead he decided to focus on the hush money case last summer, impanelling a grand jury (one assembled in secret to determine whether there’s enough evidence to prosecute) in January.
Soon after Mr Cohen, who was jailed on several counts in 2018, was summoned by prosecutors.
According to court documents, Mr Trump falsely listed his former lawyer’s reimbursement as “legal services”.
What charges could Trump face?
It is not yet known what Mr Trump will be charged with.
But among the options for prosecutors is an accounting fraud charge over the payment made to Mr Cohen.
They could also decide to indict him on campaign fraud charges – as silencing Ms Daniels’s claims could have helped propel him to power.
Mr Trump has described the investigation as a politically motivated “witch hunt”.
Donald Trump faces criminal charges over alleged hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels
Donald Trump has been indicted on criminal charges arising from an alleged hush money payment to an adult film actress.
A grand jury in New York voted to indict Trump over possible offences related to a $130,000 (£105,000) payment to Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential election campaign.
It was allegedly made in exchange for Daniels’ silence about an alleged sexual encounter she said she had with Trump a decade earlier.
He is the first former US president to face criminal charges in court, even as he makes a bid to retake the White House in 2024.
Trump, a Republican, said he was “completely innocent” and called the indictment “political persecution”, with his lawyers saying they will “vigorously fight” it.
Live updates: Prosecutors launch criminal case against Trump
The Manhattan district attorney’s investigation centred on accusations of money paid to Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, whom Trump allegedly feared would go public with claims they had extramarital sexual encounters with him.
Trump, 76, has denied having affairs with either woman.
His former personal lawyer Michael Cohen said he co-ordinated with Trump on the payments to Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, and also to McDougal.
Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations in 2018 related to the payments and served more than a year in prison.
Federal prosecutors said Cohen acted at Trump’s direction.
Trump said: “The Democrats have lied, cheated and stolen in their obsession with trying to ‘Get Trump,’ but now they’ve done the unthinkable – indicting a completely innocent person in an act of blatant election interference.”
“Never before in our nation’s history has this been done.”
He added: “I believe this witch-hunt will backfire massively on Joe Biden.”
Trump says investigations ‘straight out of Stalinist Russia horror show’
Who is Stormy Daniels?
How many investigations is former US president facing?
Trump was expected to surrender to authorities next week.
He has denied any wrongdoing and has repeatedly attacked the investigation by district attorney Alvin Bragg.
His office has spent nearly five years investigating Trump and the grand jury has been hearing its evidence since January.
Trump son hits out at indictment
On Twitter, one of Trump’s sons, Eric, wrote: “This is third world prosecutorial misconduct. It is the opportunistic targeting of a political opponent in a campaign year.”
Amid speculation in recent weeks that the former American leader was due to be indicted, Trump urged his supporters to protest against the authorities if he was detained.
He published a long statement describing the investigation as a “political witch-hunt trying to take down the leading candidate, by far, in the Republican Party”.
“I did absolutely nothing wrong,” he said, before criticising a “corrupt, depraved and weaponised justice system”.
Other ongoing cases Trump faces include a Georgia election interference probe and two federal investigations into his role in the 6 January 2001 insurrection at the US Capitol.
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