After Friday’s late-night release of the police tapes in the Tyre Nichols case, there have been some new developments. A sixth police officer was relieved of his duties in connection to the case. The officer, Preston Hemphill, joins the already charged five other officers in involvement in the case. Those five were charged last week, with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct, and official oppression. The Memphis Police Department also permanently disbanded their special unit Scorpion, which reportedly was a street-crime unit that the six officers were a part of. As of now the Department of Justice and the Memphis Field Office of the FBI are working to investigate Nichols’ civil rights while they wait for autopsy reports and an official cause of death.
Tyre Nichols was pulled over on Jan. 7 around 8:30 p.m. for “reckless driving” and a “confrontation occurred” during the stop. During the confrontation, Nichols ran away from police on foot where he was eventually apprehended after another confrontation. Thursday, five Memphis Police Department officers had been charged with second-degree murder over the death of Tyre Nichols. Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith turned themselves in and are now in custody at the Shelby County Jail in Tennessee. Now in an update to the case, Memphis police chief told CNN, “you are going to see a disregard for life, duty of care that we’re all sworn to and a level of physical interaction that is above and beyond what is required in law enforcement.” Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis has said the video shows “acts that defy humanity.” The video is set to be released later Friday on YouTube in four parts. Police are asking that any demonstrations based on the case and for Tyre Nichols be civil.
While the police had not killed Nichols on scene he died three days after the confrontation. He had complained of having shortness of breath and was taken to a hospital. After being transported to a local hospital according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Lawyers Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci said the autopsy on Nichols’ body indicated that “Tyre suffered extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating” and his “injuries are consistent with what the family and attorneys witnessed on the video of his fatal encounter with police on Jan. 7, 2023.”
Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis called Nichols’ death “heinous, reckless and inhumane,” adding “this is not just a professional failing. This is a failing of basic humanity toward another individual,” Davis said, saying the five officers and others who were involved in his death “failed our community, and they failed the Nichols family. That is beyond regrettable.” “In the vein of transparency, when the video is released in the coming days, you will see this for yourselves,” she added. “I expect you to feel what the Nichols family feels. I expect you to feel outraged by the disregard for basic human rights as our police officers have taken an oath to do the opposite of what transpired on the video.”
The footage showing the police stop that ultimately lead to Tyre Nichols death has been released.
Portions of body camera video released in the death of Tyre Nichols shows him being punched several times while he is on the ground.
Four videos were released by the city of Memphis Friday evening showing the Jan. 7 violent encounter following a traffic stop.
In one of the body camera videos, Nichols is on the ground and appeared to be punched several times in the head area by two officers standing over him. Nichols appears to cover his head area. He then yells “Mom.” He also appears to be pepper sprayed, part of the video shows.
Nichols was hospitalized and died three days later.
The videos are linked here, viewer discretion advised. Some advise skipping the watch altogether.